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A Night at the Opera

‘The Barber of Seville’ cuts up Ely audience

Keith Vandervort
Posted 7/18/18

ELY- The Northern Lights Music Festival Opera presented “The Barber of Seville” Monday night at the Washington School Auditorium.

The popular and well-known comic opera was also presented in …

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A Night at the Opera

‘The Barber of Seville’ cuts up Ely audience

Posted

ELY- The Northern Lights Music Festival Opera presented “The Barber of Seville” Monday night at the Washington School Auditorium.

The popular and well-known comic opera was also presented in Aurora and Chisholm last weekend as the music festival closed its 15th anniversary season.

Conductor Gavriel Heine is the music director for the Northern Lights Festival Opera. He is currently a resident conductor at the Marlinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Barber of Seville takes place in Seville, Spain, in the 1800s. In a nutshell:

The composer: Rossini. An Italian composer famous for his comedies.

The music: Rossini wrote beautiful and catchy melodies, often with fiendishly difficult embellishments for his singers to perform.

The big hit: ‘Largo al factotum.’ 

The history: Every-thing went wrong on opening night, and the première was a disaster. The second night was a different story and Barber is now regarded as Rossini’s biggest hit.

 A quirky fact: Born in a leap year, Rossini enjoyed the idea that he only had a birthday every four years. On his 76th birthday, he invited friends around to celebrate his 18th.

Rossini is a giant of the Italian opera world (both in terms of output and girth—he was a gourmand as well as a musical genius). People called the composer Signor Crescendo, because he often used the musical device of starting soft and getting louder, louder, louder as the action gets crazier on stage. One scholar describes Rossini’s crescendos as “tempests in teapots that begin in a whisper and rise to a flashing, glittering storm.” Some of his music is dazzlingly difficult to perform—he wanted to show off the technical skills of his artists. He wrote forty operas before the age of 40 and promptly retired to enjoy his fortune.

The story

Handsome Count Almaviva has fallen head over heels for the pretty Rosina, but wants to make sure she’s into him, not his title. He disguises himself as a poor student and serenades her. But he’s getting nowhere, and if Rosina’s guardian Bartolo has his way, no suitor will get anywhere near his ward. Thwarted, he enlists the help of Figaro, a neighborhood barber with plenty of tricks up his sleeve, and more importantly, access to Bartolo’s household. Disguise and deception win the day for romance.

The main players include: Figaro, a barber, fix-it-man, all round helpful guy; Rosina, the pretty young ward of Dr. Bartolo; Count Almaviva, a young, rich man, in love with Rosina; Dr. Bartolo, Rosina’s cantankerous old guardian, a doctor.

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Veda Zuponcic

Thanks to the Timberjay for your wonderful support! Great photos of a great show!

Friday, July 20