The Barber of Seville

It’s the best opera ever!

If you’ve never been to the opera, then this is the one to see. Go! Two more shows: Feb 6 and 8.

It’s the What’s Opera, Doc? opera. Bugs Bunny being chased by Elmer Fudd, with the scalp massage and shave. You know! I’d like to see you try to avoid giggling during the overture. Just try. But the Edmonton Opera has managed to make the Rossini version just as much fun as the Bunny version. Gregory Dahl (who was soooo over-the-top great as Don Giovanni earlier this season) is a hammy, slapstick Figaro who isn’t afraid of playing the audience. John Tessier is a swoony Count Almaviva, and Krisztina Szabo is a lovely Rosina. Theodore Baerg is a foppish Bartolo, and Thomas Goertz is Basilio, by way of Marilyn Manson. Or, perhaps, Brandon Lee in The Crow. Nothing is funnier than a goth! (and later, a hippie)

The story is about the Count trying to woo his love, Rosina, under the watchful eye of Bartolo(who wants her for himself). Figaro drops in to help. But what makes this version so entertaining is the way they have been allowed to BE funny– operas are funny, folks. They’re singing their lines, often taking several minutes and long explanations just to, say, run away and hide. And they don’t try to make that seem natural. It’s very self-aware, and sprinkled generously with silly anachronisms– the Macarena, anyone?

It’s a cliche, but it really is enjoyable to see everyone up there having a good time. SOOOO AWESOME.

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