Nobody exceeded Rossini in the mirth, invention, and sheer zaniness of the finales to his comic operas. The end of act 1 of The Barber of Seville is matched only by the Master from Pesaro himself. The action (really the inaction) is the response of Bartolo and Basilio to the release of the Count (who is masquerading as a drunken soldier) by the Officer of the Watch who has been summoned to arrest him. The Count surreptitiously identifies himself to the Officer who of course is properly respectful. The ensemble begins with’ Fredda ed immobile, come una statua’ (Cold and still, just like a statue) and ends in an inspired uproar. This performance was given at the Met in 1957. Frank Guarrera, Roberta Peters, Cesare Valletti, Fernando Corena, and Jerome Hines were the Barber, Rosina, the Count, Bartolo, and Basilio, respectively. Max Rudolf conducted.

Barber Act 1 finale