The Barber Of Seville
Los Angeles Review by Willard Manus

The laughter rang out loudly and repeatedly during the course of L.A. Opera’s current production of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, thanks to the Marx Brothers-like antics of the cast–and to Renata Shussheim’s outrageous costumes. These comic elements, when combined with the superb singing of Elizabeth DeShong, Rene Barbera, Rodion Pogossov, Alessandro Corbelli and Kristinn Sigmundsson, made for a crowd-pleasing evening.
Directed by Trevore Ross and Emilio Sagi (artistic director of Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao), this revival by L.A. Opera of its 2009 production was also greatly aided by James Conlon’s masterful conducting of Rossini’s score. His love for the music–in a program note he confides that it was a first hearing of BARBER that made him want to become a classical musician–lit up the orchestra and inspired it to play at peak level throughout.


photo: Craig T. Mathew/LA Opera

The singers, led by the mezzo-soprano DeShong as Rosina, the beautiful young ward of Doctor Bartolo (Corbelli), were in fine voice as well. Feeding off the laughter and Rossini’s immortal tunes, they threw themselves into the opera buffa story, singing and acting with unflagging gusto and brio. The capacity audience rewarded them with roars of approval and affection.

photo: Craig T. Mathew/LA Opera

Produced as part of L.A. Opera’s Figaro Trilogy, this BARBER OF SEVILLE will undoubtedly be seen at the Music Center often in future.

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