LOTS OF LAUGHS, GOOD ATTENDANCE
Last night, Elizabeth and I attended a performance of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” at the Phoenix Symphony Hall. It was a good performance of Rossini’s arguably most popular comic opera.
That was evident by the crowd. It was one of the best-attended opera performance we have ever seen in Phoenix. And as Elizabeth noted, there were many younger people in the audience. It was good to see that. And they laughed heartily throughout the show.
Here’s our “official” red carpet photo (left), along with one take with my camera (right).
Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (overture) – Sommernachtsgala Grafenegg 2012
As for the music, well, with exception of the famous overture, much of the rest was actually quite forgettable. Characters talked in lilting voices which were supposed sound like singing. To me, that was the most comical part.
As Elizabeth put it after the show, “this opera in a class of its own.”
She may not have been aware of it, but indeed, the Rossini’s Barber has proven to be one of the greatest masterpieces of comic opera – the opera buffa in Italian. Even after two hundred years, it remains a popular work.
But don’t take my word for it, if you’ve got 2 1/2 hours, here’s now a full performance of The Barber of Seville in 1999 at the famous La Scala in Milan.
Il Barbiere di Siviglia – Teatro alla Scala 1999
Rossini’s arguably most popular opera, The Barber of Seville, premiered in Rome in 1816. It was a flop, a disaster. The audience hissed and jeered throughout, and several on-stage accidents occurred. The second performance, however, was a success. From then on, Rossini and his Il Barbiero never looked back.
Rossini’s opera recounts the events of the first of the three plays by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais that revolve around the clever and enterprising character named Figaro, the barber of the title. Mozart‘s opera The Marriage of Figaro, composed 30 years earlier in 1786, is based on the second part of the Beaumarchais trilogy.
The first Beaumarchais play was originally conceived as an opéra comique, but was rejected as such by the Comédie-Italienne. The play as it is now known was premiered in 1775 by the Comédie-Française at the Théâtre des Tuileries in Paris.
And now, here are some photos of Elizabeth and me at last night’s performance.