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Ensemble

Accomplished Stagecraft

'The Barber of Seville' at San Diego Opera,
reviewed by MARIA NOCKIN

 

San Diego Opera opened its 2006 season with a visually enchanting traditional production of Gioacchino Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. The 1816 opera, which has a libretto by Cesare Sterbini, is based on Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais' 1775 play Le barbier de Séville and on Giuseppe Petrosellini's libretto for Giovanni Paisiello's earlier opera on the same subject.

The cast of the San Diego Opera production of 'The Barber of Seville': left to right, Kirstin Chávez (Rosina), Lawrence Brownlee (Count Almaviva), Christopher Maltman (Figaro), Judith Christin (Berta), Eduardo Chama (Dr Bartolo) and Ferruccio Furlanetto (Don Basilio). Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
The cast of the San Diego Opera production of 'The Barber of Seville': left to right, Kirstin Chávez (Rosina), Lawrence Brownlee (Count Almaviva), Christopher Maltman (Figaro), Judith Christin (Berta), Eduardo Chama (Dr Bartolo) and Ferruccio Furlanetto (Don Basilio). Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

Director Lotfi Mansouri set the action in the 1820s for this production which he put together for the New York City Opera. He told the story in an easily understandable manner, utilizing its potential for broad physical comedy, and gave the singers an excellent vehicle for their interpretations. Desmond Heeley's costumes were colorful, imaginative and very finely detailed, while his scenery featured warm-toned Spanish architecture. The bright lighting by Michael Whitfield helped convey the atmosphere of the sunny locale.

Left to right, Kirstin Chávez (Rosina), Christopher Maltman (Figaro), Eduardo Chama (Dr Bartolo) and Lawrence Brownlee (Count Almaviva) in the San Diego Opera production of 'The Barber of Seville'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
Left to right, Kirstin Chávez (Rosina), Christopher Maltman (Figaro), Eduardo Chama (Dr Bartolo) and Lawrence Brownlee (Count Almaviva) in the San Diego Opera production of 'The Barber of Seville'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

 

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Copyright © 12 February 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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