For over 200 years, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville has kept audiences laughing uproariously. With its farcical plot and instantly recognisable music, it remains one of the best-loved and most-performed operas in the world.
Victorian Opera is spreading the laughs with a new concert-stage version of the comic masterpiece performed at Melbourne Recital Centre on 12 and 14 December.
From the Looney Toons spoof The Rabbit of Seville to Robin Williams singing Figaro’s aria ‘Largo al Factotum’ at the opening of Mrs Doubtfire, The Barber of Seville has long pervaded popular culture with its innate comedy.
Count Almaviva is hopelessly in love with the beautiful, young Rosina but first he must prise her from the clutches of her guardian, the lecherous Doctor Bartolo. Lucky for them, the flamboyant and cunning town barber Figaro has a few tricks up his sleeve.
Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Mills (William Tell) conducts Orchestra Victoria with direction by Elizabeth Hill-Cooper (Pelleas and Melisande).
“There is so much love in every bar of Rossini, love for humanity in all its riches and mischief, as well as much generous insight into the follies of the heart, captured in unforgettably joyous music. The Barber of Seville is really the best fun night in the theatre ever,” said Richard Mills.
The production assembles a world-class ensemble of role experts to dazzle audiences with superlative singing and hilarious performances.
Argentine-Australian baritone Jose Carbo (Lucia di Lammermoor) returns to his signature role as Figaro, a role the celebrated artist has performed across Australia and beyond. Rising star tenor Brenton Spiteri (Cunning Little Vixen) sings Count Almaviva opposite Italy’s most sought-after Rosina, mezzo-soprano Chiara Amaru in her Australian debut.
Powerhouse performers baritone Warwick Fyfe (The Flying Dutchman) and bass Paolo Pecchioli (La Sonnambula) star as Doctor Bartolo and Don Basilio respectively. The cast is rounded out with baritone Stephen Marsh as Fiorello (direct from his title role in The Selfish Giant), soprano Kathryn Radcliffe (The Princess and the Pea) as Berta, and the Victorian Opera Chorus.
In addition to the performances in Melbourne, The Barber of Seville will be staged at the Launceston’s Princess Theatre on Thursday 21 November together with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
This madcap masterpiece has made millions across the world grin with delight. Don’t miss Rossini at his best with this hilarious night at the opera!