Seville Thrill

By Richard Mineards   |   March 8, 2018
Alexander Elliott sings the title role in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (photo by Zach Mendez)

Opera Santa Barbara’s (OSB) latest production, Gioachino Rossini’s romantic comedy The Barber of Seville at the Granada, was definitely on the cutting edge.

The work, which premiered in Rome in 1816 to much hissing and jeering, is now one of the world’s most endearing operas – and it was easy to see why with a talented cast, great sets, and a capable orchestra under conductor and chorus master Kostis Protopapas.

Baritone Alexander Elliott, making his OSB debut, was perfect for the role of Figaro, as was mezzo soprano Cassandra Zoe Velasco as love interest Rosina and tenor Andrew Bidlack as the besotted Count Almaviva.

Bass baritone Peter Strummer as doctor Bartolo and UCSB alumnus Nathan Stark as the weasely Don Basilios, also in their OSB debuts, were also comic standouts, as were baritone Byron Mayes as Fiorello and soprano Elle Valera.

Josh Shaw‘s stage direction was spot on, while the production design, originally created for the Pacific Opera Victoria two years ago, worked perfectly, as did Dana Osborne‘s colorful costume design.

A glorious night of opera that was clearly appreciated by the delighted audience.

Opera Santa Barbara Board member Christine Holland, A.C. Moore, Nancy Golden, chair; Joan Rutaowski and Jon Dupra, vice chair (photo by Priscilla)
Chris Lancashhire, Eve Bernstein with granddaughter Emma; and Shelley Woods (photo by Priscilla)
The presenting and playful The Barber of Seville taking their bows (photo by Priscilla)

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