Rosina, a young, middle-class girl who expects a rich inheritance, is courted by two men: Count Almaviva, who covets Rosina for her beauty, and her guardian, Doctor Bartolo, who hopes for the inheritance and therefore strictly guards Rosina. Through all sorts of intrigues instigated by Figaro, the barber of Seville, Almaviva finally manages to marry Rosina. In 1815, 24-year-old Rossini was asked to write an opera during carnival time. Out of time constraints, he resorted to the ? Figaro template? of the popular Beaumarchais. While Paisiello and Mozart had already successfully staged this material, Rossini was primarily concerned with conjuring up the classic characters of the comedy world: the bruised guardian, the clever all-rounder Figaro, the snippy Rosina, the scheming Basilio and the count languishing in love. Rossini's music, which runs along as lightly as it is rich in contrast, in which grace and exuberance, arias and babbling parlando combine with tempo, wit and cantability, is and remains irresistible.