Maquette for shift from street to Dr. Bartolo's house in The Barber of Seville

Maker and role
Artist: Helen Pond, American, 1924-2017
Artist: Herbert Senn, American, 1924-2003
ca. 1979

Object detail

Painted paper and board, with wire and plastic
22 1/2 x 34 3/4 x 19 3/4in (57.2 x 88.3 x 50.2cm)
Credit line
Gift of Robert L. B. Tobin
Accession number
Object type
Theatre production
Opera by Gioachino Rossini. Produced by the Opera Company of Boston, 1979.
Further information
This is a model for the complete set of this two-act opera, made possible by Pond and Senn's ingeniously engineered moving or rotating parts. The second floor "bird cage" room has a transparent floor so that stage light from above will reach the first floor room as well. At Beverly Sills' request, the New York City Opera took this set on a year-long tour, and it was the first opera to be televised on "Live from Lincoln Center."

Pond and Senn note: "The 'birdcage' room is symbolically important to the plot. You see the lovely heiress Rosina is being kept a virtual prisoner by her guardian, Dr. Bartolo, who hopes to keep her away from young suitors so that he might marry her. But her cage as a balcony, and already she has attracted a serenader - a poor student. Except that he is not poor at all, but the Count Almavira in disguise. Allied with the clever barber, Figaro, they eventually outwit Dr. Bartolo.


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