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The other major male part is that of Don Basilio, which was deftly performed by bass Samuel J Smith, whose slender stature still allowed him to capably render all those deep bass notes.

Amy van Roekel as Rosina and Brian K Johnson as Figaro in the Lyric Opera Cleveland production of 'The Barber of Seville'. Photo © 2005 Steve Zorc
Amy van Roekel as Rosina and Brian K Johnson as Figaro in the Lyric Opera Cleveland production of 'The Barber of Seville'. Photo © 2005 Steve Zorc

As Rosina, Amy van Roekel seemed a bit unsure at times in the beginning, but gained in confidence as the evening progressed, her fine soprano soaring in the later arias. The servant girl Berta (of the multiple sneezes) was capably performed by mezzo Jessica Riley, one of Lyric's apprentices for this year.

Artistic Director Jonathon Field set a fairly brisk pace in his stage direction, allowing the action room to breathe, but not dragging. Conductor Francis Graffeo was given the bare minimum of an orchestra, which at times sounded even less than it was, basically one instrument to a part. However, it didn't take long for the ears to become accustomed to the slender sound, and recognize all the familiar tunes.

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Copyright © 28 June 2005 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA

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