Largo al factotum

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"Largo al factotum" (Make way for the factotum) is an aria from The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini, sung at the first entrance of the title character; the repeated "Figaro"s before the final patter section are an icon in popular culture of operatic singing. The term "factotum" refers to a general servant and comes from Latin where it literally means "do everything".

Music[edit]

{
\clef bass \time 6/8
c'4.( c'8)\noBeam d'\noBeam b
c'8\( d'\)\noBeam b c'\noBeam d'\noBeam b
c'8 r r e'4.
e8
}
\addlyrics { Lar -- go al fac -- to -- tum del -- la cit -- tà, lar -- go }
\new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }{\clef bass \key c \major d\glissando g'  \parenthesize a'}

Range

Due to the constant singing of triplets in 6/8 meter at an allegro vivace tempo, the piece is often noted as one of the most difficult baritone arias to perform.[1] This, along with the tongue-twisting nature of some of the lines, insisting on Italian superlatives (always ending in "-issimo"), have made it a pièce de résistance in which a skilled baritone has the chance to highlight all of his qualities.[2]

The voice range covers D3 to G4 (optional A4), with a very high tessitura.[3] For this reason, a few dramatic tenors or Heldentenors have also sung the aria, notably Mario del Monaco[4] and Placido Domingo[5].

Libretto[edit]

The libretto to the opera was written by Cesare Sterbini.

Largo al factotum della città.
Presto a bottega che l'alba è già.
Ah, che bel vivere, che bel piacere
per un barbiere di qualità!

Ah, bravo Figaro! Bravo, bravissimo!
Fortunatissimo per verità!

Pronto a far tutto, la notte e il giorno
sempre d'intorno in giro sta.
Miglior cuccagna per un barbiere,
vita più nobile, no, non si da.

Rasori e pettini, lancette e forbici,
al mio comando tutto qui sta.
V'è la risorsa, poi, del mestiere
colla donnetta... col cavaliere...

Tutti mi chiedono, tutti mi vogliono,
donne, ragazzi, vecchi, fanciulle:
Qua la parrucca... Presto la barba...
Qua la sanguigna... Presto il biglietto...
Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!, ecc.

Ahimè, che furia! Ahimè, che folla!
Uno alla volta, per carità!
Ehi, Figaro! Son qua.
Figaro qua, Figaro là,
Figaro su, Figaro giù.

Pronto prontissimo son come il fulmine:
sono il factotum della città.
Ah, bravo Figaro! Bravo, bravissimo;
a te fortuna non mancherà.

Room for the city's factotum, here;
Off to the shop – the dawn is near.
What a merry life, what pleasure gay,
Awaits a barber of quality!

Ah, bravo, Figaro! Bravo, bravissimo!
Of men thou art the happiest, most surely.

Ready for all, both by night and by day,
I bustle about so briskly and gay.
What better cheer, what happier lot,
Could an ever active barber await!

Razors and combs, and lancets, and scissors,
All here and ready at my command.
Then there are little resources besides –
With the young dame, with the gay cavalier.

All after me, all inquire for me,
Both young and old, mistress and maid:
"My wig here!" – "My beard here!"
"Here, bleed me!!" – "Quick, the note!"
Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! etc.

Oh, what a crowding! Oh, what a fury!
One at a time, please, for charity's sake!
"Hey, Figaro!" – I'm here.
Figaro here, Figaro there,
Figaro up, Figaro down.

Swift and swifter, quick as lightning:
Room for the city's factotum here.
Ah, bravo, Figaro! bravo, bravissimo!
In very truth the most lucky of men.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Largo al factotum" – Barber of Seville – Rossini by Joel Herold, OperaPulse
  2. ^ Il barbiere di Siviglia – Event details, performance details, Semperoper Dresden
  3. ^ Barbara M. Doscher (2002). John Nix, ed. From Studio to Stage: Repertoire for the Voice. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 270. ISBN 9780810842397. 
  4. ^ EJR (18 May 2016). "Mario Del Monaco Figaro, Largo Al Factotum" – via YouTube. 
  5. ^ Anttony Dantas (26 March 2011). "Plácido Domingo - Largo al Factotum (Figaro) - Il Barbiere di Seviglia" – via YouTube. 
  6. ^ Program notes, 6–8 May 1915, Tenth Annual Music Festival, Bailey Hall, Cornell University, Department of Music, p. 37 (as sung by Pasquale Amato)

External links[edit]