Virginia Opera Presents ‘The Barber of Seville’ at Center for the Arts

Posted: March 13, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Barber of Seville poster

Mason and the Virginia Opera invite audiences to Rossini’s spicy masterpiece “The Barber of Seville,” the final production of the Virginia Opera’s 2008-09 season.

The production comes to the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, April 3, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 5, at 2 p.m.

Rossini’s dazzling opera is a nonstop comedy express. Its spirited music invites the audience to join in the outrageous mayhem dispensed by a singing barber.

His meddling ways may yet help the handsome young Count Almaviva to marry the beautiful Rosina, however, her guardian, Dr. Bartolo, has other plans.

To what extremes will these men take their cat-and-mouse games for one woman’s heart? It will take a close shave from the barber we all know as “Figaro! Figaro! FIGARO!”

French soprano Manon Strauss Evrard returns to Virginia Opera’s stage as Rosina. Strauss Evrard commanded the stage with her singing and acting in “Lucia di Lammermoor” (2008) and “The Tales of Hoffmann” (2007).

An exciting and passionate singer, tenor John Zuckerman makes his Virginia Opera debut as the handsome Count Almaviva. Returning baritone Jason Detwiler is the famous barber Figaro. Baritone Steven Condy also makes his Virginia Opera debut as Dr. Bartolo.

Stage Director Greg Ganakas returns for this production of “The Barber of Seville,” having previously directed “Carousel” (1996) and “Oklahoma!” (1997).

Virginia Opera Artistic Director Peter Mark will conduct both performances. Mark recently conducted his 100th Virginia Opera production, “Il Trovatore,” bringing his total performances with the Virginia Opera to 700.

“‘The Barber of Seville’ is a playful opera. It is a traditional opera buffa — perfect for contemporary audiences,” notes Mark.

“With the versatile, vivacious and vixenish Manon Strauss Evrard as our Rosina, and the madcap and marvelously musical Greg Ganakas as stage director, this production of ‘The Barber of Seville’ is a thoroughly happy and high-jinks ride through Rossini’s hysterical comic masterpiece.”

The Richmond Symphony accompanies the production, which is sung in Italian with Digitext Supertitles projected above the stage.

The production has an estimated running time of two hours and 28 minutes, including two intermissions.

A discussion, free to ticket holders, will begin 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsors of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason season.

Tickets are $86, $72 and $44 (Friday) and $98, $80 and $48 (Sunday). Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit tickets.com.

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