The Scottish Opera’s Barber of Seville is an absolute showstopper. The revival of the 2007 production is both moving and hilarious.
This interpretation of The Barber of Seville in Theatre Royal Glasgow shines through immaculate comedic timing, beautiful set design and talented singers. There was no yawning to be seen during the opening night on October 17.
This is an ideal introduction to the operatic world if you have never been to the opera. Witty, quick and easy to understand for a British audience.
But, before we get into the crux of this interpretation, what is the opera about?
Rossini´s The Barber of Seville is about two lovers. What else could it be?
The Count Almaviva is madly in love with Rosina. However, she is held hostage by her guardian, Doctor Bartolo. That´s why Count Almaviva, his confidant Figaro and Rosina work together. The goal is to get her out of Bartolo´s house and into Almaviva´s arms. Figaro is the most prominent barber in Seville and has the craziest ideas to help the star-crossed lovers get together.
Of course, there is no Barber of Seville without the famous overture. The orchestra of the Scottish Opera delivers the opera’s timeless tunes with emotion and wit.
For people who are used to the Italian classic, the English translation of the scenario might need a second to get used to. However, the English lyrics and minor changes to the script create a new and more contemporary opera. Many English jokes made the audience laugh aloud while some famous Italian lyrics like “piano” were left in for the classic opera fan to recognise.
The opera shines through moments of situational comedy, duets and the interplay of the characters on stage. The singers have incredible chemistry throughout the acts. Especially, Simone McIntosh as Rosina, Anthony Gregory as Count Almaviva and Samuel Dale Johnson as Figaro create a funny atmosphere. They have a convincing chemistry, and none of the actors fall out of character once. The vocal range of the singers is impressive, and the melodic delivery is amusing.
However, as we all know, the devil is in the details. And those details were there. If the set and costume design weren’t so extensively Spanish, the scenes wouldn´t have the same magic.
The laughs in the audience, the long applause and the standing ovations at the end are a testament to the successful interpretation of this season’s The Barber of Seville.
Overall, this version of the all-time classic is one to remember and a definite must-see for any classic fan.
Feature Image Credit: Scottish Opera