Virginia Opera Presents Rossini's The Barber of Seville - A Classic Comedy for Modern Audiences
Words and Images Courtesy of Virginia Opera.
Virginia Opera is thrilled to announce its second production of the 2023-2024 season, the uproarious and timeless classic, Rossini's The Barber of Seville. With a stellar cast of debut performers and an exciting creative team, this newly conceived traditional production promises to captivate audiences with its wit, charm, and unforgettable music.
Under the skillful baton of Virginia Opera's Associate Conductor and Chorus Master, Brandon Eldredge, who steps into the conductor's role for this production, and directed by Nora Winsler, making her Virginia Opera directorial debut, The Barber of Seville is set to take audiences on a delightful journey filled with laughter and romance.
One of the highlights of this production is the return of the immensely talented mezzo-soprano Hilary Ginther as Rosina. A former Virginia Opera Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist, Ginther last graced the Virginia Opera mainstage during the 2012-2013 season in productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and The Marriage of Figaro. Opera Now has praised her “terrific stage presence, with instinctive comic timing as well as a voice that is unusually flexible and florid for such a substantial and richly colored instrument.” Ginther is welcomed back to Virginia, having performed across the country and around the globe.
The rest of the cast features an ensemble of remarkable talent, all making their mainstage debut including baritone Markel Reed as Figaro, tenor Aaron Crouch as Count Almaviva, bass-baritone Adelmo Guidarelli as Doctor Bartolo, and baritone Christian Pursell as Don Basilio.
For those attending the performance on November 4 at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, an alternate cast will take the stage, providing an opportunity for audiences to experience the opera from a fresh perspective.
The Barber of Seville is renowned for its iconic “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro…” aria, titled “Largo al factotum”. Additionally, the overture to this beloved opera has left an indelible mark on popular culture, most notably through its inclusion in the classic Looney Tunes episode "The Rabbit of Seville."
Artistic Director Adam Turner expressed his anticipation for this production, stating, "I am thrilled that our very own Brandon Eldredge will be on the podium as conductor for The Barber of Seville. Brandon's talent and dedication to the craft are truly remarkable, and I have every confidence that he will lead this production to great success."
Peggy Kriha Miller, General Director and CEO, shared her thoughts on the significance of comic opera in today's world, saying, "Comic opera has a unique power to bridge cultures and generations through laughter and music. The Barber of Seville remains as relevant and entertaining today as it was when it first premiered, reminding us all of the enduring power of humor and love."
Performances of The Barber of Seville are scheduled for November 3, 4, and 5 at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, November 11 and 12 at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax, and November 17 and 19 at the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond.
The Barber of Seville
By Gioachino Rossini
Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | November 3, 4*, & 5, 2023
Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Fairfax | November 11 & 12**, 2023 | Sponsored by Joyce Goche-Grimes
Dominion Energy Center, Richmond | November 17 & 19, 2023
Sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Featuring the Virginia Symphony Orchestra
The Barber of Seville is a witty tale of bribery, deception, disguise, and of course, true love. Figaro – the local barber who, in fact, does much more than cut hair – is the ultimate “wingman.” Rossini’s madcap comedy is the prequel to The Marriage of Figaro and is guaranteed to send you out laughing and humming along!
Brandon Eldredge, Conductor
Nora Winsler, Director
Markel Reed*, Figaro
Erik Grendahl^, Figaro (alt cast)
Hilary Ginther†, Rosina
Lauren Cook†, Rosina (alt cast)
Aaron Crouch*, Count Almaviva
Jordan Costa*^, Count Almaviva (alt cast)
Adelmo Guidarelli*, Doctor Bartolo
Christian Pursell*, Don Basilio
Emily Harmon*^, Berta
Alexander Kapp*^, Fiorello/An Officer
* denotes VOA Mainstage Debut
^ denotes Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist
† denotes former Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist
About Virginia Opera
Virginia Opera, the official opera company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation and is the only company to perform regularly in three separate main stage venues: the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, the Carpenter Theatre at the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond, and Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax. Organized in 1974, Virginia Opera is respected nationwide for the identification and presentation of the finest young artists, for the musical and dramatic integrity of its productions, and for the ingenuity and variety of its education and outreach programs.