Figaro… FIGARO… FIGAROOOOOO!
Whether you’ve been a long time lover of the opera or the only opera reference you recognize is from Looney Tunes, you’ll be hard pressed to miss the very familiar overture of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. If your version of that world famous opera is the cartoon, Rabbit of Seville, which features Bugs Bunny being chased by Elmer Fudd into the stage door of the Hollywood Bowl, where Bugs tricks Elmer into going onstage and participating in a break-neck operatic production of an exciting chase punctuated with tricks and gags, accompanied by musical arrangements by Carl Stalling, you’d be forgiven but it’s time to grow up and see the real one.
OPERA LYRA OTTAWA’S THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
Especially when the real one is just within your grasp.
For four nights only, the Opera Lyra Ottawa brings this world renowned production to the nation’s capital via the National Arts Centre and they couldn’t have chosen a better opera to open their 2015-2016 season! There’s nothing more perfect than The Barber of Seville to kick off the Opera Lyra’s exciting and expanded season. It’s funny, it’s light and again, it’s sweetly familiar that if you’re looking to cast a wider net, you will have a more favourable chance of attracting a younger audience or a newer demographic to the sometimes curious world of the opera.
Part of the fun is dressing up for a Night at the Opera! Ball Gown from SALON DE LA MODE.
With a fresher and more modern vision (something we started to see with all the hyped up publicity around OLO’s last production of the Marriage of Figaro), this production certainly looks like a step in the right direction for the 30 year old Ottawa Opera institution. If The Barber of Seville’s opening night and the preceding PR-related activities would tell a tale, it would be that OLO’s new Artistic Director Timothy Vernon and General Director Jeep Jeffries could be right – we may be in for a ride and an exciting one at that.
JOSHUA HOPKINS DELIVERS MORE THAN A HAIRCUT AS THE BARBER FIGARO
Featuring stars like Pembroke native baritone Joshua Hopkins as Figaro and First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman as Rosina, Opera Lyra Ottawa presents a unique take on Rossini’s great classic set in a 1940’s movie studio in Seville, working on the story of Carmen. . The story goes that Rosina is a young movie star kept in check by her producer and owner of the studio, Bartolo and is constantly surrounded by his “goons”. To say that Hopkin’s Figaro, the studio stylist and confidant, stole the show is a definite understatement as, despite personal real life tragedy, the charming Baritone not only dazzles and delights all night long but he leaves the audience wanting more of his witty, inspired and exuberant performance.
Along with the highly charged performance of Montreal Conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, both clearly, on fire, Opera Lyra’s The Barber of Seville’s cast and rock star actors Peter McGillivray as the vile yet hilarious Bartolo, Isaiah Bell as the dashing Count Almaviva and of course, Marion Newman as the endearing and beautiful Rosina, rightly brought the house down to a reverberating crescendo of a well-deserved standing ovation.
Photos of @20YS courtesy of: ROLIN ST-FLEUR Photography! Ball Gown from SALON DE LA MODE.
Say Hello! Let’s be connect in social media, you can find us at:
Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Twenty York Street aka @20YS
This production of The Barber of Seville is not only highly entertaining and designed to appeal to a broad range of audiences but what’s also notable is casting a wide range of Canadian operatic talents (in terms of age, background and ethnicity), which I always thought was a great undertaking, deliberate or not, championed by the Opera.
ENJOY A NIGHT AT THE OPERA AT THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE FOR AS LOW AS $25
Created by Dennis Garnum, The Barber of Seville has been a big hit in Vancouver and has received extensive acclaim, capturing the attention of several US opera companies. In fact, the show has already been scheduled for presentation in Miami and Pittsburgh but catch while you can. There are only four shows for this comedic production (September 26, 28, 30; and October 3 at the National Arts Centre) and with tickets starting at only $25, there’s no reason to not enjoy an evening at the opera to see what could be a magical performance that would leave you feeling like you just had the best haircut of a lifetime.
Bravo Figaro! Brava Rosina! And… Bravo Opera Lyra Ottawa!
Opera Ball Gown Courtesy of: SALON DE LA MODE IN GATINEAU. Contact here for more options.
Visit SALON DE LA MODE in Facebook here and their website here.
For more information on the production, check out www.operalyra.ca and follow #OLBarber in Social Media. To order tickets, visit operalyra.ca/barber.
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 2 hours 40 minutes (including a 20 minute-intermission).
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE ARTISTS AND PRODUCTION CREW
With the National Arts Centre Orchestra
Artistic Director – Timothy Vernon
Conductor – Giuseppe Pietraroia
Stage Director – Dennis Garnhum
Chorus Master – Laurence Ewashko
Principal Repetiteur – Judith Ginsburg
Stage Manager – Kelly Luft
Director of Production – Jason Dubois
Lighting Designer – Kevin Lamotte