Largo al factotum" from Gioachino Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia: a study in ornamentation and performance practice
From the time it was written, the aria "Largo al factotum" from Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia has been performed and ornamented in many different ways. The present study is an inventory and analysis of ornaments sung in 33 recordings from 1900 to 2011 and the major differences that they exhibit one from another. The singers in this study are baritones with international careers, who have performed the role of Figaro either at the Metropolitan Opera (New York) or at La Scala (Milan). The study identifies and tracks some of the changes in the ornamentation of the aria by noting common traits and new approaches across the one hundred eleven years of practice illustrated by the recordings.