‘The Barber of Seville’ Shaves it Comically Close at Nashville Opera

Barber PR 01Nashville Opera’s next presentation is Gioachino Rossini’s beloved family-friendly comedy The Barber of Seville. A beautiful girl must enter an arranged marriage with old Doctor Bartolo, but she is in love with the handsome Count Almaviva. There’s only one man who can help them – can Figaro save the day? Will the young lovers be united? Will old Bartolo get his closest shave ever? All these questions and more are answered in this ultimate evening of smiles.

“Gioachino Rossini has been heralded as the King of Italian comic opera,” says John Hoomes, General and Artistic Director of Nashville Opera. “But his brilliant musical ability as a composer takes the outlandish situations and humor found in his operas and elevates them to works of genius. The Barber of Seville is a perfect blend of virtuoso music and “laugh out loud” comedy (a la Bugs Bunny). This is a perfect evening of fun for the entire family.”

The cast of internationally acclaimed principal artists includes Nashville native baritone Corey McKern as Figaro, returning to Nashville Opera after last season’s portrayal of Dandini in Cinderella. It also features Metropolitan Opera stars mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy as Rosina and tenor Taylor Stayton as Count Almaviva (both are making their Nashville Opera debuts).

The Barber of Seville is technically classified as an “Opera Buffa,” a full-length Italian comic opera with recitative rather than spoken dialogue. The work made its first operatic appearance only seven years after the debut of the successful stage play of the same name, and is Rossini’s best known and best loved opera. An interesting point is the speed at which Rossini created his work: it only took Rossini between 13 and 19 days to complete this opera though his piano-vocal score is nearly 300 pages long. What is most enchanting about the opera is that everyone likes all of the characters; each person has his own distinct identity. Dr. Bartolo’s huge key, Figaro’s razor and strap, even Berta’s sneezes are recognizable by audiences everywhere.

Nashville Opera offers two performances of The Barber of Seville: Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall (505 Deaderick St.) The Barber of Seville is directed by John Hoomes with Maestro Dean Williamson leading the Nashville Opera Orchestra. Tickets range from $26 to $102.50 and are available by calling Nashville Opera at (615) 832-5242, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center Box Office at (615) 782-4040, or online at www.nashvilleopera.org. Si desea comprar entradas para eventos en el TPAC y necesita ayuda en español, por favor llame al 1-800-664-8941. A limited number of “pay-what-you-can” seats may be purchased directly from Nashville Opera’s main offices at the Noah Liff Opera Center in Sylvan Heights for a minimum suggested donation of $5. Hoomes will present the popular Opera Insights discussion one-hour prior to curtain on the Orchestra Level and is free to all ticket holders. The Barber of Seville will be sung in Italian with projected translations in English.

 Young Lovers of Opera (YLO) will host a free reception in the Jackson Hall Balcony Lobby with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb.1. Reservations are available by calling Nashville Opera’s Community Relations Department at (615) 832-5242.

*Photo of (L to R) tenor Taylor Stayton (Count Almaviva), baritone Corey McKern (Figaro) and mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy (Rosina) by Reed Hummell courtesy Nashville Opera.

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