The Barber of Seville COC banner

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

Gioachino Rossini
To

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Performance time is approximately two hours and 50 minutes, including one intermission.

#COCBarber

What makes The Barber of Seville so special?

From the spritzy build-up of its famous overture to that infectious ‘Figaro here, Figaro there’ aria ("Largo al factotum"), The Barber of Seville is chock-full of catchy music you already know from movies, cartoons, and more.   

In this whimsical staging by Spanish theatre troupe Els Comediants, Barber's free-wheeling comedy is unleashed through exuberant carnival and circus touches, acrobatics and pantomime, and shadow play that mimics cinematic cutaways and montage.  

This production showcases leading female artists who are shaking up the opera industry, including award-winning mezzo-soprano (and COC Ensemble Studio graduate) Emily D'Angelo as Rosina, as well as Speranza Scappucci, "one of classical music’s brightest stars" (Opera News), who conducts this piece.

“With its intercepted love letters, wafer-thin disguises and, yes, actors hanging from chandeliers, The Barber of Seville is full of zany buffa delights” 
The Globe and Mail


Credits

Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM




CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS

Conductor Speranza Scappucci
Original Director Joan Font
Set & Costume Designer Joan Guillén
Lighting Designer Albert Faura
Choreographer Xevi Dorca
Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst


Figaro Vito Priante
Rosina Emily D’Angelo
Almaviva Santiago Ballerini
Bartolo Renato Girolami
Basilio Brandon Cedel
Berta Simona Genga
Fiorello Joel Allison
Officer Vartan Gabrielian

COC co-production with Houston Grand Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Opera Australia

With the COC Orchestra & Chorus

Production originally made possible by
The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation

The Story

THE STORY

Young Count Almaviva is in love with Rosina, a virtual prisoner in the home of her aged guardian, Doctor Bartolo, who is plotting to marry her himself. Almaviva hires the services of Seville’s favourite barber and schemer, the irrepressible Figaro, to help him out.

SYNOPSIS

ACT I

Count Almaviva has fallen in love with Rosina, a young girl he saw in Madrid, and has followed her to the house in Seville where she is kept sequestered by her old guardian, Dr. Bartolo, who wishes to marry her and acquire her dowry. Accompanied by his servant Fiorello and some musicians, Almaviva comes in disguise to serenade her, but gets no response. As daylight breaks, the barber Figaro appears and promises to help Almaviva for a suitable reward. Serenading Rosina again, the Count identifies himself as a poor man named “Lindoro” because he wants her to love him for himself, not for his wealth. Figaro comes up with an idea: the Count should force entry into Bartolo's house on the pretext of being a soldier billeted there. The two happily contemplate their respective rewards.

Meanwhile, Rosina, stirred by this most attractive voice, determines to find its owner. Bartolo enters with the music master Don Basilio, who warns him that Almaviva is his rival for Rosina's hand. Bartolo decides to marry his ward at once, but Figaro overhears and warns Rosina, promising to carry a letter from her to Lindoro. The suspicious Bartolo tries to get Rosina to admit she has written to her suitor and warns her not to trifle with him. Suddenly Almaviva, disguised as a drunken soldier, bursts in and passes Rosina a note, which she hides. A loud quarrel ensues when Bartolo claims exemption from billeting orders. As a curious crowd forms outside, police try to take the troublemaker into custody, but he confides his identity to the Sergeant, who lets him go amidst pandemonium.

INTERMISSION

ACT II

Dr. Bartolo suspects the intruder was a spy sent by Almaviva, who once again appears in disguise, this time as Don Alonso, a music teacher substituting for a sick Basilio. Alonso announces he is staying at the same inn as Almaviva and has found a letter from Rosina. He offers to tell Rosina that Almaviva is cheating on her with another woman. Reassured, Bartolo allows Alonso to give Rosina her singing lesson. Bartolo observes the lesson until Figaro arrives to shave him. With Bartolo unable to decide whom to trust alone, Figaro manages to steal the key to the upstairs balcony and Rosina recognizes Lindoro, who proposes to her. As the shaving is about to begin, Basilio himself appears, and the sham threatens to unravel. Quickly, Almaviva bribes him to play sick and rushes him out of the house. Figaro shaves Bartolo, distracting him while the lovers make their plans to elope, but Bartolo overhears the word “disguise” and sends for Basilio. After everyone has left, the maid Berta wanders in and complains that she is working in a madhouse.

Learning that Alonso is a fraud, the doctor sends Basilio to fetch a notary at once so he can marry his ward that very evening. Calling Rosina, he shows her a note, saying Lindoro has deceived her and plans to win her for his master, Almaviva. Rosina is angry and agrees to marry Bartolo, also revealing that Figaro and Lindoro plan to enter by way of the balcony. Bartolo goes for the police. Figaro and Almaviva come in through the window, only to be spurned by Rosina, who accuses Lindoro of wooing her for Almaviva. Lindoro reveals his true identity and Rosina is delighted. Figaro urges them to hurry, but as they prepare to escape, they realize Bartolo has thwarted their plan by removing the ladder from the balcony. Basilio enters with the notary, but is dismissed with another bribe from the Count, who joins Rosina in signing the marriage contract. Bartolo surprises them, but is too late to intervene. Rosina is free at last; young love has won the day.

PHOTOS




(Top to bottom, left to right): All production photos from the Canadian Opera Company's Barber of Seville, 2015, Alek Shrader as Count Almaviva and Serena Malfi as Rosina; Renato Girolami as Doctor Bartolo and Joshua Hopkins as Figaro; Alek Shrader as Count Almaviva (far right); a scene from the Canadian Opera Company's Barber of Seville, 2015. All photos: Michael Cooper.

WATCH

The Barber of Seville: "Una voce poco fa" | Emily D'Angelo, August 2019

This aria has been winning mezzo-soprano Emily D'Angelo competitions all around the world. In January, she brings it home to Toronto for THE BARBER OF SEVILLE.

 

 

The Barber of Seville - Selected scenes, April 2016

Watch select scenes from the Canadian Opera Company’s colourful 2015 production of The Barber of Seville, Rossini’s classic comedy.



Inside the Concept Discussion: The Barber of Seville at the COC, March 2015

"A sneak peek at the Canadian Opera Company's upcoming production of The Barber of Seville, led by Spanish theatre troupe Els Comediants. Director Joan Font and associate director Tanya Kane-Parry talk about the characters in Barber, and their basis in the Commedia dell'arte." Schmopera




Joshua Hopkins transforms into Figaro, April 2015

"Joshua Hopkins transforms into Figaro for the Canadian Opera Company's production of The Barber of Seville." Toronto Star


Listen



Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Teresa Berganza (Rosina), Hermann Prey (Figaro), Luigi Alva (Almaviva). Claudio Abbado, conductor, with the London Symphony Orchestra, 1972. Deutsche Grammophon

EVENTS

OPERA INSIGHTS

The Comic Cut of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville
Wednesday January 15, 2020, 7 p.m.
Don Mills Library, 888 Lawrence Ave E, North York

Rossini’s The Barber of Seville was hurriedly written over just a few short weeks — but despite these frantic origins, Beethoven believed the opera “would be played as long as opera exists” and Verdi considered it “the most beautiful opera buffa [comedic opera] that exists.” More than 200 years later, The Barber of Seville has endured as the most-performed comedy in the opera repertoire. Before it returns to the Canadian Opera Company later this winter, this session explores how Rossini expertly fused the traditions of French farce and Italian Commedia dell’Arte to create potent musical high jinx.

Free program, please call 416-395-5710 to register.

  • Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM



    CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS

    Conductor Speranza Scappucci
    Original Director Joan Font
    Set & Costume Designer Joan Guillén
    Lighting Designer Albert Faura
    Choreographer Xevi Dorca
    Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst


    Figaro Vito Priante
    Rosina Emily D’Angelo
    Almaviva Santiago Ballerini
    Bartolo Renato Girolami
    Basilio Brandon Cedel
    Berta Simona Genga
    Fiorello Joel Allison
    Officer Vartan Gabrielian

    COC co-production with Houston Grand Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Opera Australia

    With the COC Orchestra & Chorus

    Production originally made possible by
    The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation

  • THE STORY

    Young Count Almaviva is in love with Rosina, a virtual prisoner in the home of her aged guardian, Doctor Bartolo, who is plotting to marry her himself. Almaviva hires the services of Seville’s favourite barber and schemer, the irrepressible Figaro, to help him out.

    SYNOPSIS

    ACT I

    Count Almaviva has fallen in love with Rosina, a young girl he saw in Madrid, and has followed her to the house in Seville where she is kept sequestered by her old guardian, Dr. Bartolo, who wishes to marry her and acquire her dowry. Accompanied by his servant Fiorello and some musicians, Almaviva comes in disguise to serenade her, but gets no response. As daylight breaks, the barber Figaro appears and promises to help Almaviva for a suitable reward. Serenading Rosina again, the Count identifies himself as a poor man named “Lindoro” because he wants her to love him for himself, not for his wealth. Figaro comes up with an idea: the Count should force entry into Bartolo's house on the pretext of being a soldier billeted there. The two happily contemplate their respective rewards.

    Meanwhile, Rosina, stirred by this most attractive voice, determines to find its owner. Bartolo enters with the music master Don Basilio, who warns him that Almaviva is his rival for Rosina's hand. Bartolo decides to marry his ward at once, but Figaro overhears and warns Rosina, promising to carry a letter from her to Lindoro. The suspicious Bartolo tries to get Rosina to admit she has written to her suitor and warns her not to trifle with him. Suddenly Almaviva, disguised as a drunken soldier, bursts in and passes Rosina a note, which she hides. A loud quarrel ensues when Bartolo claims exemption from billeting orders. As a curious crowd forms outside, police try to take the troublemaker into custody, but he confides his identity to the Sergeant, who lets him go amidst pandemonium.

    INTERMISSION

    ACT II

    Dr. Bartolo suspects the intruder was a spy sent by Almaviva, who once again appears in disguise, this time as Don Alonso, a music teacher substituting for a sick Basilio. Alonso announces he is staying at the same inn as Almaviva and has found a letter from Rosina. He offers to tell Rosina that Almaviva is cheating on her with another woman. Reassured, Bartolo allows Alonso to give Rosina her singing lesson. Bartolo observes the lesson until Figaro arrives to shave him. With Bartolo unable to decide whom to trust alone, Figaro manages to steal the key to the upstairs balcony and Rosina recognizes Lindoro, who proposes to her. As the shaving is about to begin, Basilio himself appears, and the sham threatens to unravel. Quickly, Almaviva bribes him to play sick and rushes him out of the house. Figaro shaves Bartolo, distracting him while the lovers make their plans to elope, but Bartolo overhears the word “disguise” and sends for Basilio. After everyone has left, the maid Berta wanders in and complains that she is working in a madhouse.

    Learning that Alonso is a fraud, the doctor sends Basilio to fetch a notary at once so he can marry his ward that very evening. Calling Rosina, he shows her a note, saying Lindoro has deceived her and plans to win her for his master, Almaviva. Rosina is angry and agrees to marry Bartolo, also revealing that Figaro and Lindoro plan to enter by way of the balcony. Bartolo goes for the police. Figaro and Almaviva come in through the window, only to be spurned by Rosina, who accuses Lindoro of wooing her for Almaviva. Lindoro reveals his true identity and Rosina is delighted. Figaro urges them to hurry, but as they prepare to escape, they realize Bartolo has thwarted their plan by removing the ladder from the balcony. Basilio enters with the notary, but is dismissed with another bribe from the Count, who joins Rosina in signing the marriage contract. Bartolo surprises them, but is too late to intervene. Rosina is free at last; young love has won the day.





  • (Top to bottom, left to right): All production photos from the Canadian Opera Company's Barber of Seville, 2015, Alek Shrader as Count Almaviva and Serena Malfi as Rosina; Renato Girolami as Doctor Bartolo and Joshua Hopkins as Figaro; Alek Shrader as Count Almaviva (far right); a scene from the Canadian Opera Company's Barber of Seville, 2015. All photos: Michael Cooper.

  • The Barber of Seville: "Una voce poco fa" | Emily D'Angelo, August 2019

    This aria has been winning mezzo-soprano Emily D'Angelo competitions all around the world. In January, she brings it home to Toronto for THE BARBER OF SEVILLE.

     

     

    The Barber of Seville - Selected scenes, April 2016

    Watch select scenes from the Canadian Opera Company’s colourful 2015 production of The Barber of Seville, Rossini’s classic comedy.



    Inside the Concept Discussion: The Barber of Seville at the COC, March 2015

    "A sneak peek at the Canadian Opera Company's upcoming production of The Barber of Seville, led by Spanish theatre troupe Els Comediants. Director Joan Font and associate director Tanya Kane-Parry talk about the characters in Barber, and their basis in the Commedia dell'arte." Schmopera




    Joshua Hopkins transforms into Figaro, April 2015

    "Joshua Hopkins transforms into Figaro for the Canadian Opera Company's production of The Barber of Seville." Toronto Star





  • Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Teresa Berganza (Rosina), Hermann Prey (Figaro), Luigi Alva (Almaviva). Claudio Abbado, conductor, with the London Symphony Orchestra, 1972. Deutsche Grammophon

  • OPERA INSIGHTS

    The Comic Cut of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville
    Wednesday January 15, 2020, 7 p.m.
    Don Mills Library, 888 Lawrence Ave E, North York

    Rossini’s The Barber of Seville was hurriedly written over just a few short weeks — but despite these frantic origins, Beethoven believed the opera “would be played as long as opera exists” and Verdi considered it “the most beautiful opera buffa [comedic opera] that exists.” More than 200 years later, The Barber of Seville has endured as the most-performed comedy in the opera repertoire. Before it returns to the Canadian Opera Company later this winter, this session explores how Rossini expertly fused the traditions of French farce and Italian Commedia dell’Arte to create potent musical high jinx.

    Free program, please call 416-395-5710 to register.


2019/2020 season creative: BT/A; photo: Theshlen Naidoo

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts capacity: 2,070
Ticket prices do not include service fees, $9 CAD.

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

Gioachino Rossini
To

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Performance time is approximately two hours and 50 minutes, including one intermission.

#COCBarber

What makes The Barber of Seville so special?

From the spritzy build-up of its famous overture to that infectious ‘Figaro here, Figaro there’ aria ("Largo al factotum"), The Barber of Seville is chock-full of catchy music you already know from movies, cartoons, and more.   

In this whimsical staging by Spanish theatre troupe Els Comediants, Barber's free-wheeling comedy is unleashed through exuberant carnival and circus touches, acrobatics and pantomime, and shadow play that mimics cinematic cutaways and montage.  

This production showcases leading female artists who are shaking up the opera industry, including award-winning mezzo-soprano (and COC Ensemble Studio graduate) Emily D'Angelo as Rosina, as well as Speranza Scappucci, "one of classical music’s brightest stars" (Opera News), who conducts this piece.

“With its intercepted love letters, wafer-thin disguises and, yes, actors hanging from chandeliers, The Barber of Seville is full of zany buffa delights” 
The Globe and Mail

Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

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