Opera Scotland

Barbiere di Siviglia 2012English Touring Opera

Read more about the opera Barber of Seville

English Touring Opera's 2012 tour brought two full-scale productions to the Perth Festival - a generally successful revival of the 2007 staging of Eugene Onegin and this new Barber of Seville. Perth Theatre is the ideal venue for Rossini's comic operas, though it is over thirty years since The Barber was last given here, back in the days when Scottish Opera habitually mounted medium-scale productions.

The excellent young lyric tenor Nicholas Sharratt is a familiar name following appearances with both ETO and Scottish Opera.  He coped well with the fiendish difficulties of his final aria, and also judged to a nicety the comic elements of his Don Alonso disguise. Rosina was taken by an unknown name in Kitty Whately, winner of the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Award, therefore clearly a singer to watch. She certainly justified the hype, with a confident performance. Other welcome and familiar names included Andrew Slater (who sang Basilio with Scottish Opera a few years ago), and Alan Fairs. As Figaro, the young Romanian baritone Cozmin Sime gave an excellent performance - clear articulation and diction as well as deft handling of the comedy. Paul McGrath made an excellent impression with The Magic Flute three years ago, and  his handling of the orchestra brought out some wonderful touches, fizzy, without being overdriven.

Thomas Guthrie's work was, as yet, unknown in Scotland. He had already produced excellent stagings for ETO's autumn tours, when they generally mount rewarding performances of baroque operas, including Handel and Purcell. It is unfortunate, to put it mildly, that none of these shows has yet been given in Scotland. This new production of the Barber was based on the extraordinary, almost revolutionary, idea of a setting in 18th century Seville - what can be going on? Generally it was well-judged, and there were a few novelties - Bartolo was given a series of patients to examine during his 'a un dottor' aria which did not inspire confidence in his medical knowledge. Perhaps less happy was the idea of him being completely tone deaf, and later managing to sing his little aria in the lesson scene (both verses) completely out of tune - very funny in such a deadpan performance, but excruciating for the audience. One musical surprise came with the cutting of Berta's little aria - a strange decision.

Performance Cast

Fiorello servant of the Count

Toby Girling

Count Almaviva a young nobleman

Nicholas Sharratt

Figaro a barber

Cozmin Sime

Rosina Bartolo's ward

Kitty Whately

Bartolo a doctor, Rosina's guardian

Andrew Slater

Ambrogio Bartolo's servant

Andrew Glover

Don Basilio a singing teacher

Alan Fairs

Berta Bartolo's housekeeper

Cheryl Enever

Alcalde Mayor

Brendan Collins


Maciek O'Shea

Performance DatesBarbiere di Siviglia 2012

Map List

Perth Theatre | Perth

17 May, 19.30 19 May, 19.30

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