The Barber of Seville

Rossini's The Barber of seville

Friday, October 7, 2016 at 7:30pm & Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 2pm

Student Night at the Opera Performance on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 7pm

The Historic Valentine Theatre - Conducted by James Meena - Directed by Bernard Uzan

Ever since its premiere in 1816, Rossini’s opera buffa masterpiece The Barber of Seville has captivated audiences with its rollicking humor, charming music, and dynamic singing. Based on Pierre Beaumarchais's play of the same name, and the first part of the legendary French playwright’s “Figaro” trilogy, the mad-capped comedy pits the wits of the lowly barber, Figaro, against those of the aged Doctor Bartolo. At the center of the opera is the young love of Count Almaviva and Rosina, Bartolo’s ward, and the many improbable and ridiculous subterfuges they must undergo to come together. Presented in a new, fully-staged co-production with Opera Carolina, designed and directed by Bernard Uzan, and starring the always-dynamic soprano Kathryn Lewek, Barber is sure to delight.

The Barber of Seville is Underwritten By

Lucille Gorski   



THe Barber of Seville

By Gioachino Rossini

Act I

Count Almaviva comes, in disguise, to the house of the elderly Dr. Bartolo to serenade his young ward, Rosina. Dr. Bartolo intends to marry Rosina, and he’s confined her to his house.

Figaro, the titular barber, has access to the homes of Seville’s elite. He knows the town’s secrets and scandals. He arrives at Dr. Bartolo’s home and pledges his help to Count Almaviva, who takes on the persona of “Lindoro,” a poor student who hopes young Rosina will love him not because he’s a nobleman, but for himself. To enter Bartolo’s house, Figaro devises a plan: The Count will disguise himself as a drunken soldier with orders to be quartered at Dr. Bartolo’s. Then, he can declare his love for Rosina.

Scene Two. Alone in the house, Rosina reflects on the voice that has enchanted her and resolves to use her considerable charm to meet “Lindoro.” Dr. Bartolo enters with Rosina’s music master, Don Basilio, who warns him that Count Almaviva (Rosina’s admirer) has been seen in Seville. Dr. Bartolo decides to marry Rosina immediately – before any other suitor can have her. Figaro overhears this, warns Rosina and promises to deliver a letter from her to “Lindoro.”

Disguised as a drunken soldier, Almaviva passes Rosina a note, which she manages to hide from Dr. Bartolo, who argues that he has exemption from housing soldiers. An argument ensues between the Count and Dr. Bartolo. 

Figaro enters and announces that a curious crowd has gathered in the street. The city guards burst in to arrest the drunk and disorderly soldier. The Count quietly reveals his true identity to the captain of the guards. He’s released, to Dr. Bartolo’s chagrin and everyone’s amazement.

Act II

Dr. Bartolo, alone in his study, suspects the “drunken soldier” was a spy. The Count returns, this time disguised as Don Alonso, a music teacher and student of Don Basilio. He says he’s come to give Rosina her music lesson instead of Basilio, who’s at home sick. “Don Alonso” tells Dr. Bartolo he’s staying at the same inn as Almaviva and has found Rosina’s letter. He offers to tell Rosina it was given to him by another woman, proving Lindoro is toying with her. This convinces Dr. Bartolo that “Don Alonso” is a true student of Don Basilio, and he allows him to give Rosina her music lesson.

Figaro arrives to give Dr. Bartolo his shave and manages to snatch the key that opens the balcony shutters. The shaving is about to begin when Don Basilio shows up looking perfectly healthy. To get the meddlesome Basilio out of the way, Figaro convinces him he has scarlet fever and should go to bed at once. With Basilio out of the way, the shaving begins and distracts Dr. Bartolo from hearing Almaviva plotting with Rosina to elope that night. But Dr. Bartolo hears the phrase “my disguise” and realizes he’s been tricked again.

Later that evening, Basilio is summoned by Dr. Bartolo and is told to bring a notary so Rosina and Bartolo can be married. Dr. Bartolo then shows Rosina her letter to Lindoro as proof that Lindoro is tricking her. Convinced she’s been deceived, she agrees to marry Dr. Bartolo and tells him of the plan to elope with Lindoro. 

After a thunderstorm, Figaro and the Count climb over the wall into Bartolo’s house. Rosina is furious with them, until Almaviva reveals his identity and professes his love for her. Basilio arrives with the notary. 

Bribing and threatening him, Basilio agrees to be a witness to the marriage of Rosina and Count Almaviva. Dr. Bartolo arrives with soldiers, but it’s too late. Count Almaviva explains tells Dr. Bartolo that it’s useless to protest, and Dr. Bartolo accepts he has been beaten. Figaro, Rosina and the Count celebrate their good fortune.

Kathryn Lewek, soprano (Rosina)

Soprano Kathryn Lewek is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most promising coloratura sopranos of this generation. Ms. Lewek’s interpretation of her signature role, a quintessential Mozart villain, Queen of the Night, has garnered international critical acclaim. She performed the role in productions of Die Zauberflöte in débuts with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bregenzer Festspiele, the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opera Leipzig, Opera de Toulon, English National Opera, Nashville Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Last season alone, she reprised the Queen in débuts worldwide with The Royal Danish Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, and in a return to The Metropolitan Opera. This season, she will appear in the role at Teatro Real in Madrid. For Toledo Opera, she last created the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in 2015.

Victor Ryan Robertson, tenor (Count Almaviva)

American tenor Victor Ryan Robertson offers a versatile singing ability and style allowing him to cross seamlessly between genres. From opera repertoire to pop music, and everything in between, Robertson has delighted international audiences to critical acclaim. This season, he will perform the role of Benny Peret Jr. in Champion with Opera Parallele, Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess with Spoleto Festival USA, and sings with an exciting new project entitled World Tenors Unleashed produced by the creators of Three Mo’ Tenors. In future seasons, Mr. Robertson will make a house debut at Washington National Opera. Widely noted for the portrayal of Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, he has performed the role with the Minnesota Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theatre, Manitoba Opera, PORT Opera, and Arizona Opera.

Hyung Yun, baritone (Figaro)

Baritone Hyung Yun regularly performs on some of the most esteemed opera stages in the United States. With The Metropolitan Opera, he has performed numerous roles including Valentin in Faust under Maestro James Levine, Ping in Turandot, Lescaut in Manon with Renee Fleming in the title role, and Silvio in Pagliacci. With Los Angeles Opera he made his début as Angelotti in Tosca and returned to sing Marcello in La bohème, Micheletto Cibo in Die Gezeichneten, and Lescaut in Manon with Rolando Villazón & Anna Netrebko under the baton of Plácido Domingo. He débuted as Ping in Turandot with the Santa Fe Opera and returned to sing in their 50th Anniversary Gala Concert. This season, Yun returns to The Metropolitan Opera for productions of Turandot, Les pêcheurs de perles, and Roberto Devereux, and will perform the role of Germont in La traviata with Ash Lawn Opera. He will also perform as the baritone soloist in Hayes’ Requiem and Faure Requiem with Mid-America Productions. He last appeared in the role of Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor for Toledo Opera in 2015.

Steven Condy, baritone (Bartolo)

Steven Condy enjoys a career filled with notoriety and acclaim for his creative portrayals of the great “buffo” roles, and is admired not only for his robust and nuanced voice, but also for his natural acting ability. The Washington Times enthused that he has “the comic timing of John Candy and a voice that remains flexible, rich and true through every intricacy,” and Anthony Tomassini of the New York Times offered that he would “vote the prize for the most naturally clear diction of the cast to the hardy baritone Steven Condy.” This season, Condy will delight audiences with his performances in the title role of Don Pasquale at Opera Naples and Opera on the James; make an appearance as Falstaff with Opera Delaware; sing Handel’s Messiah with New Jersey Masterworks Chorus; and Dr. Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Lyric Opera Baltimore.

James Meena, Conductor

James Meena, Opera Carolina’s General Director and Principal Conductor and Toledo Opera’s Principal Artistic Advisor, consistently earns critical acclaim for his artistic vision and dynamic presence on the podium. Last season he conducted Opera Carolina’s production of Fidelio, as well as Madama Butterfly at Opéra de Montréal and Die Zauberflöte at Michigan Opera Theatre. In recent engagements, he conducted Nabucco, Turandot, and Lucia di Lammermoor for Opera Carolina, and Porgy and Bess with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. With extensive experience in opera, ballet, and symphonic music, Maestro Meena held principal and resident conducting posts with the Cleveland Ballet, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and Toledo Opera.

Bernard Uzan, Stage Director

As a stage director and producer, Bernard Uzan’s 400 productions have won numerous awards and appeared on the stages of more than 100 opera companies throughout the world in such cities as Buenos Aires, Caracas, Catania, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Mexico City, Miami, Monte Carlo, Palermo, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Santiago, Seattle, Zurich, Toronto, Vancouver, and Erfurt, where his recent production of Carmen was voted Best Production of the Year. Committed to nurturing the artists of tomorrow, Mr. Uzan has kept teaching courses, classes, and workshops as an integral part of his schedule. He is also co-founder and Director of Uzan International Artists, a leader in international artist management, with a diverse roster including classical singers for opera and concert, actors for stage and screen, directors, designers, and conductors.

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