Figaro's 'Largo Al Factotum' From 'The Barber of Seville'

Figaro's famous aria is from the Rossini opera 'The Barber of Seville'

Barber of Seville, Rossini Opera
Michael Martin (Count Almaviva) (R) and Jose Carbo (Figaro) perform at the last dress rehearsal of Rossini's 'The Barber Of Seville' at the Opera House on September 7, 2004 in Sydney, Australia.

Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

"The Barber of Seville" (Italian: Il barbiere di Siviglia) is a comedic opera by Giachino Rossini. It's based on the first play of "Le Barbier de Seville," the three-part story of Figaro written by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais.

"Largo al Factorum," Figaro's opening aria in the opera's first act, is considered one of the most challenging operas for a baritone to perform, due to its brisk time signature and convoluted rhyme structure.

Modern audiences may recognize "Largo al factotum" as a staple of the ​"Looney Tunes" cartoons.

History of 'The Barber of Seville'

The opera premiered at the Teatro Argentina in Rome in 1816. Now considered a masterpiece of musical comedy, "The Barber of Seville" had a difficult first performance, but quickly grew in popularity. 

Figaro's Opening Aria 'Largo al Factorum'

In the first act, the audience meets the flamboyant Figaro who introduces himself as the city's top quality factotum or handyman. Figaro is quite assured of his abilities and describes his popularity and his many talents. He's a jack of all trades. He loves his life, saying that and a more noble life cannot be found.

Italian Lyrics
Largo al factotum della citta.
Presto a bottega che l'alba e gia.
Ah, che bel vivere, che bel piacere
per un barbiere di qualita!
Ah, bravo Figaro!
Bravo, bravissimo!
Fortunatissimo per verita!
Pronto a far tutto,
la notte e il giorno
sempre d'intorno in giro sta.
Miglior cuccagna per un barbiere,
vita piu nobile, no, non si da.
Rasori e pettini
lancette e forbici,
al mio comando
tutto qui sta.
V'e la risorsa,
poi, de mestiere
colla donnetta... col cavaliere...
Tutti mi chiedono, tutti mi vogliono,
donne, ragazzi, vecchi, fanciulle:
Qua la parruca... Presto la barba...
Qua la sanguigna...
Presto il biglietto...
Qua la parruca, presto la barba,
Presto il biglietto, ehi!
Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!, ecc.
Ahime, che furia!
Ahime, che folla!
Uno alla volta, per carita!
Figaro! Son qua.
Ehi, Figaro! Son qua.
Figaro qua, Figaro la,
Figaro su, Figaro giu,
Pronto prontissimo son come il fumine:
sono il factotum della citta.
Ah, bravo Figaro! Bravo, bravissimo;
a te fortuna non manchera.

English Translation
Handyman of the city.
Early in the workshop I arrive at dawn.
Ah, what a life, what a pleasure
For a barber of quality!
Ah, bravo Figaro!
Bravo, very good!
I am the luckiest, it's the truth!
Ready for anything,
night and day
I'm always on the move.
Cushier fate for a barber,
A more noble life cannot be found.
Razors and combs
Lancets and scissors,
at my command
everything is here.
Here are the extra tools
then, for business
With the ladies... with the gentlemen...
Everyone asks me, everyone wants me,
women, children, old people, young ones:
Here are the wigs... A quick shave of the beard...
Here are the leeches for bleeding...
The note...
Here are the wigs, a quick shave soon,
The note, hey!
Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!, Etc..
Alas, what frenzy!
Alas, what a crowd!
One at a time, for goodness sake!
Figaro! I'm here.
Hey, Figaro! I'm here.
Figaro here, Figaro there,
Figaro up, Figaro down,
Swifter and swifter I'm like a spark:
I'm the handyman of the city.
Ah, bravo Figaro! Bravo, very good;
Fortunately for you I will not fail.