Portland Opera presents The Barber of Seville

CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508
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The Barber of Seville title art

Gioachino Rossini

May 7, 9m, 13, 15, 2010 | Keller Auditorium


The Barber of Seville graphicPortland, Ore.— Portland Opera has spent the 2009/10 Season exploring the many and varied facets of Love & Marriage.  So, with a wedding in its final act, the season now comes full circle with Rossini’s immensely popular romp, The Barber of Seville.  A high-energy score and great comic ensembles ensure the season about love ends as it should—with a light heart and a big smile.  The Barber of Seville opens May 7 at Keller Auditorium with additional performances May 9 (matinee), 13 & 15.

“Rossini’s high-spirited Barber is indisputably one of the most beloved comic operas,” says Portland Opera General Director—and stage director for this production—Christopher Mattaliano.  “It is a shining example of all that is joyful, stylish and virtuosic in the Bel Canto period and perfect for audiences who love an evening of fun.”

Rossini is the king of creating a crescendo, both musically and dramatically, and in Barber he has created an irresistible cast of characters that includes the clever barber Figaro, who arranges everyone’s affairs and manages to make a profit in the process; the romantic aristocrat, Count Almaviva, who has fallen in love with the lovely young Rosina; and her suitor and elderly guardian who keeps her a virtual prisoner, Dr.Bartolo.  It may take a series of ingenious disguises and escapades to do it, but Figaro eventually does outwit Dr. Bartolo and his scheming cohorts and brings the young lovers together.

The ubiquitous refrain “Figaro, Figaro, Fi-ga-ro!,” is familiar to most people in the western world—maybe not in the context of Rossini’s opera, but certainly courtesy of Bugs Bunny in the classic 1949 cartoon, Long Haired Hare.  Based on the first of Pierre Beaumarchais’ lively plays about Figaro, Count Almaviva and Rosina, Rossini’s opera introduces us to the characters that Mozart brought vividly to life in The Marriage of Figaro

Making his Company debut in the title role is baritone DANIEL BELCHER.  He has been described by the Houston Chronicle as having a voice “of beautiful melting sweetness.”  Belcher will give Portland a preview of his talent when he sings the national anthem at the Portland Trail Blazers game on April 14.  The cast includes the return of acclaimed mezzo-soprano JENNIFER RIVERA (Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, 2003) as Rosina.  The Los Angeles Times declared her “a fascinating Rosina . . .  sufficiently opulent and agile in voice; wily, brainy and pert in manner.”

Already a favorite in Portland, baritone STEVEN CONDY (Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville 2004, Don Magnifico in Cinderella 2007) returns to sing  Dr. Bartolo.  The Washington Times says Condy has “the comic timing of John Candy and a voice that remains flexible, rich and true through every intricacy.”  Bass ARTHUR WOODLEY (Rocco in Fidelio, 2008) sings Basilio.  The New York Times proclaimed him “… a burly, attractive bass baritone.  He phrased forcefully and sensitively … he was very impressive.” Also making his Company debut is tenor NICHOLAS PHAN as Count Almaviva.  Of Phan, Opera News magazine said “Phan has … a great deal of personal and musical charm … the singing is of great musical beauty.” 

New York City Opera music director GEORGE MANAHAN (Macbeth 2006, Rodelinda 2008, Rigoletto 2009) fresh from conducting a delightful Così fan tutte in February, returns to the podium.  Recently, The New York Times said that “George Manahan conducted and got from his players the kind of heartfelt involvement unthinkable in the City Opera orchestra pit 20 years ago.”  CHRISTOPHER MATTALIANO directs the action.  His recent revival of Hugo Weisgall’s Esther at New York City Opera received high praise from The New York Times’ critic Anthony Tommasini.  The Barber of Seville marks Mr. Mattaliano’s twelfth appearance as stage director at Portland Opera, and his third Rossini opera with the Company (Cinderella 2007, The Journey to Reims 2004).

This production was originally created by Christopher Mattaliano for Minnesota Opera and Washington Opera and was telecast on PBS.  The Barber of Seville was last seen at Portland Opera in 2004.


Figaro Daniel Belcher*
Jennifer Rivera
Dr. Bartalo
Steven Condy
BasilioArthur Woodley
Count Almaviva
Nicholas Phan*
Judith Christin*
Fiorello José Rubio †
Officer Steven Brennfleck †

ConductorGeorge Manahan
Stage Director Christopher Mattaliano
Lighting Designer
Paul Palazzo

With the Portland Opera Chorus and Orchestra
* Portland Opera debut
† Portland Opera Studio Artist

For musical excerpts, synopsis and detailed cast bios visit www.portlandopera.org.


Music:Gioachino Rossini
Libretto:Cesare Sterbini, after the play by Pierre Beaumarchais.
Lyrics:Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.
World Premiere:February 20, 1816, Teatro Argentina, Rome
Portland Opera Premiere:March 28, 1966
Performances:May 7, 9m, 13, 15, 2010

All performances begin at 7:30pm, with the exception of the 2:00pm matinee on May 9.

(Calendar Editors Kindly Note)

Destination Opera: From Music to Psyche 

An insider’s look at The Barber of Seville explores its relevance beyond the stage. Destination Opera: From Music to Psyche brings Alexis Hamilton, manager of education and outreach, together with guest speaker Duane Dale from the Oregon Psychoanalytic Institute to explore the hidden subtexts of the upcoming production.
4/20/10  7:00pm | Sherman Clay Pianos | 131 NW 13th Ave., Portland, OR 97209.  Free! 



4/25/2010   The Barber of Seville preview, Salem Public Library (585 Liberty St SE) in Loucks Auditorium, 2:30pm. Free!
4/29/2010   The Barber of Seville preview on “Northwest Previews,” All Classical 89.9 fm at 6pm.
5/2/2010    The Barber of Seville preview, Multnomah County Central Library, 2pm, Free!

Opera Insights

These free and informative sessions, led by musicologist Bob Kingston, focus on the music and history behind the
evening’s opera in ways that make the evening’s performance even more satisfying.
1 hour prior to each performance.  First Balcony Level.  Free.

Back Talk

Immediately after each opera performance, audiences are invited to join General Director
Christopher Mattaliano and an interesting variety of guests that will include fresh-from-their-dressing-room
performers, directors and conductors for a 20-30 minute Q&A. 
Free. Orchestra Level.



Friday, Thursday, Saturday performances at 7:30pm, Sunday Matinee at 2:00pm
Keller Auditorium, SW 3rd & Clay


Regular tickets start at $20.00 (while they last) and can be purchased:

BY PHONE:    Portland Opera Box Office, 503-241-1802, Toll-free 866-739-6737,
                      (Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm).
                      Ticketmaster, 800-982-ARTS (days, evenings, and weekends).

ONLINE:        www.ticketmaster.com 

IN-PERSON:  Portland Opera Box Office, 211 SE Caruthers St. (just south of OMSI, off Water Ave.)                                                    Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm.
                      Ticketmaster outlets. 
                      Portland Center for the Performing Arts (SW Broadway & Main).

GROUPS:       10 or more save up to 20% by calling Group Sales at 503-295-3509.

6:30 RUSH:    Students/Military, $10 per ticket, Seniors $20 per ticket, 1 hour prior to show only, all
                       available unsold seats. 1 ticket per person, valid ID required.


For other information about tickets and much more about the production of
The Barber of Seville, please visit our website at: www.portlandopera.org.


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