Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thomas Allen Gets All the Credit for Scottish Opera "Barber"

"When the curtain lifted for the first time, we saw Simon Higlett’s very realistic set of the front of houses and places of business of a street in Seville around the time Rossini wrote his opera in 1816. This was good, and it got better as the story began to unfold on the street, before the action moved to the inside of Dr Bartolo’s house. Sir Thomas Allen, the director and better known as the baritone, had sung the part of Figaro years ago. With this experience he gave us a traditional rendition of the much loved opera but with just the right amount of mischief. Several times I was chuckling out loud - for his humour was as timely for its period as it was for today, not an easy challenge. Disguise, false teeth and a couple of nuns were all part of an easy to understand plot. The singing was a delight by a cast so well suited to their part - in voice, size, demeanour and dress, and aided by a chorus of eighteen who we saw but briefly. For once I had a good view of the orchestra and admired the deft finger-work of Susannah Wapshott on the harpsichord." [Source, Source]

For the record, the singers not mentioned in this review of the Scottish Opera production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia were Thomas Walker (Count Almaviva), Ville Rusanen (Figaro), Claire Booth (Rosina), Tiziano Bracci (Dr. Bartolo), Teuta Koco (Berta) and Adam Miller (Fiorello/Officer).

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