Nashville Opera presents Rossini’s comic masterpiece, ‘The Barber of Seville’

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Nashville Opera presents a beloved family-friendly comedy, Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. A beautiful girl must enter an arranged marriage with old Doctor Bartolo, but she is in love with the handsome Count Almaviva. There’s only one man who can help them! Can Figaro save the day? Will the young lovers be united? Will old Bartolo get his closest shave ever? All these questions will be answered in this ultimate evening of smiles.  

Nashville Opera offers two performances: Thursday, January 30 at 7 PM and Saturday, February 1 at 8 PM at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall, located at 505 Deaderick Street in Downtown Nashville. The Barber of Seville is directed by John Hoomes with Maestro Dean Williamson leading the Nashville Opera Orchestra. Tickets range from $26 to $102.50 and are available by calling Nashville Opera at (615) 832-5242, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center Box Office at (615) 782-4040, or online at www.nashvilleopera.org.

A limited number of “pay-what-you-can” seats may be purchased directly from Nashville Opera’s main offices at the Noah Liff Opera Center in Sylvan Heights for a minimum suggested donation of $5. Mr. Hoomes will present the popular Opera Insights discussion one-hour prior to curtain on the Orchestra Level and is free to all ticket holders. The Barber of Seville will be sung in Italian with projected translations in English. 

“Gioachino Rossini has been heralded as the King of Italian comic opera,” said John Hoomes, General and Artistic Director of Nashville Opera. “But his brilliant musical ability as a composer takes the outlandish situations and humor found in his operas and elevates them to works of genius. The Barber of Seville is a perfect blend of virtuosic music and “laugh out loud” comedy (a la Bugs Bunny). This is a perfect evening of fun for the entire family.”

Young Lovers of Opera (YLO) will host a free reception in the Jackson Hall Balcony Lobby with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 PM on Saturday, February 1. Reservations are available by calling Nashville Opera’s Community Relations Department at (615) 832-5242.

The cast of internationally acclaimed principal artists includes Nashville native baritone Corey McKern as Figaro, returning to Nashville Opera after last season’s portrayal of Dandini in Cinderella, and Metropolitan Opera stars mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy as Rosina, and tenor Taylor Stayton as Count Almaviva, both making their Nashville Opera debuts.

The Barber of Seville is technically classified as an Opera Buffa, a full-length Italian comic opera with recitative rather than spoken dialogue. The Barber of Seville made its first operatic appearance only seven years after the debut of the successful stage play, and is Rossini’s best known and best loved opera. An interesting point is the speed at which Rossini created his work: it only took Rossini between 13 and 19 days to complete this opera and his piano-vocal score is nearly 300 pages long. What is most enchanting about the opera is that everyone likes all of the characters; each person has his own distinct identity. Dr. Bartolo’s huge key, Figaro’s razor and strap, even Berta’s sneezes are recognizable by audiences everywhere.