PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Opera launches its 72nd season with Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville."
In the composer's comedy, local Figaro makes mischief as he plays matchmaker for Rosina and Count Almaviva. Pittsburgh Opera presents "The Barber of Seville" Oct. 9, 12, 15 and 17 at the Benedum Center.
Wealthy Dr. Bartolo intends to marry his young ward Rosina, but Count Almaviva falls in love with her and enlists Figaro, a barber and man about town, to help him win her heart. Dr. Bartolo and music teacher Basilio attempt to keep Rosina out of Almaviva's arms, but after twists, turns and disguises, Rosina and the Count are united, and Figaro takes credit.
Pittsburgh Opera Music Director Antony Walker, fresh from engagements at the Canadian Opera Co., English National Opera and Santa Fe Opera returns to conduct the Pittsburgh Opera orchestra. Director A. Scott Parry debuts with the company. Leading the ensemble cast are baritone Matthew Worth as Figaro, soprano Daniela Mack as Rosina and tenor David Portillo as Almaviva, all in Pittsburgh Opera debuts. Pittsburgh favorite Kevin Glavin squares off with fellow funnyman Paolo Pecchioli in the roles of Bartolo and Basilio, respectively. Resident Artists Dan Kempson and Alexandra Loutsion take the roles of Fiorello and Berta. The production was designed and built at Minnesota Opera, with costumes from Washington National Opera.
The story for the opera is taken from the Beaumarchais play "Le Barbier de Seville," part of the trilogy that also includes "Le Mariage de Figaro." The first performance of "The Barber of Seville" in 1816 was a disaster, the hall having been filled with Rossini's rival composer's supporters; by the second performance, it was a great success. The opera presently occupies one of the top spots in Opera America's list of the 20 most performed operas in North America.
Tickets start at $10 and are available at the Pittsburgh Opera website at www.pittsburghopera.org or by calling (412) 456-6666.
Pittsburgh Opera's 2010-11 season is sponsored by PNC Foundation. This production is sponsored by the H.J. Heinz Co. Foundation.