Opera Australia’s ‘The Barber Of Seville’ Celebrates All Things ‘Figaro’
If you’re a fan of the timeless classic Mrs. Doubtfire starring the now passed Robin Williams (and who isn’t!), you probably would be familiar with one of the most famous arias in the world from this classic operatic piece by composer Rossini, first performed in 1816. And to make it even better, if this is you, you’d enjoy the fact that the actual opera the piece is from is just as funny as the Hollywood interpretation of its headline aria. The Barber of Seville is not a sad performance, and one of great affection, love and the hilarity behind the trials and tribulations that accompany any sort of romantic endeavour. Talk about relatable.
Often confused as the headline piece of music from The Marriage of Figaro, which Opera Australia reproduced for their spring-summer season at the Sydney Opera House in 2015-2016, The Barber Of Seville benefits from the hilarious piece instead. This is ‘Largo al factotum’ otherwise known as ‘Figaro’s Aria’…
It’s basically a piece of music in which the protagonist of this renowned opera, Figaro, sings about and vocally celebrates the fact that he thinks he’s pretty awesome and everyone wants or needs him and his services. Nothing like being modest, hey? Why exactly comes a bit clearer throughout the performance as the tangled web of inter-relationships the characters develop comes to light. Figaro’s role (mastered by Giogrio Caoduro and Paolo Bordogna) is that of the stirring protagonist, or lead who has a tight relationship with Count Almaviva (Juan Jose de Leon and Kenneth Tarver) who’s lusting after Rosina (Anna Dowsley), a tightly watched muse of Dr. Bartolo (Warwick Fyfe and Andrew Moran).
The lengths the two of them go to, to win the attention, affection and eventually hand of the young Rosina is impressive (and absurd), that Opera Australia managed to convey and develop through its stunning set design, seamlessly.
Opera Australia’s interpretation and conveyance of the classic libretto really modernises what is a more classic piece of opera. The story is mercifully fluid and slotted into the period-set unfolding of the interplay between the characters and pretty funny storyline of a man smitten, trying to make headway and being stopped at every turn. Sound familiar?
The performance has come to an end for 2016, but will return in Opera Australia’s programming. Keep watch at their website.
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