The Barber of Seville is a wonderful opera, very funny, witty and sometimes naughty. It is also the prequel to Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, despite the fact Marriage of Figaro was written before the Barber of Seville. The main merit is the beautiful operatic score from Rossini. From the rousing overture(despite the unplayable piu mosso aka the final section), the sparkling aria Una Voce Poca Fa to the hilarious Largo Al Factotum, it is a real treat for opera fans. The production is lavishly designed with lovely costumes and sets, and the production while making some liberties is fairly faithful to what Rossini intended. The performances are exceptional, the standout being Gino Quillico as Figaro, a performance of wit and extreme hilarity, something to be expected of Quillico, see him as Dandini in La Cenerentola and you'll know what I'll mean. Cecilia Bartoli sparkles not only visually with beauty, but also vocally; her voice is of mezzo soprano quality, yet has a dazzling colouratura element to it. Nice support also from Carlos Feller as Bartolo and Robert Lloyd as Basilio, particularly Lloyd and his La Calunnia. The tenor playing Almaviva David Kuebler was excellent too, especially at the start. The production is a little overlong, but overall very well done, vocally and visually with the comic coincidences genuinely fun and the suggestion that Berta was in love with Bartolo interesting. 9/10 Bethany Cox.
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