May 10, 2019

Press Release: Portland Opera presents Rossini’s The Barber of Seville

Portland Opera is thrilled to bring its production of Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville to the stage this June. Considered one of the greatest comic operas of all time, Rossini’s opera tells the story of the Count Almaviva, who has fallen for the charming Rosina, and enlists the help of the town barber Figaro to assist in winning her affection. Together they try to outwit her guardian Dr. Bartolo, who also vies for her hand.

Portland Opera will present four performances of The Barber of Seville on June 7, 9m, 13, 15 at the Keller Auditorium.

“This production of The Barber of Seville is high energy and high voltage,” says stage director and Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano. “We’re embracing the conventions of opera, which can be a ridiculous art form, and not apologizing for it. Rossini’s piece sparkles, and I can’t wait to bring this production of one of the most popular opera buffas back to the stage.”

Portland Opera Music Director George Manahan conducts the performance, in a production created by stage director Christopher Mattaliano, set designer Allen Moyer, costume designer James Scott, and lighting designer Paul Palazzo. The cast stars baritone John Moore, who was last seen at Portland Opera as Papageno in The Magic Flute, as the scheming barber, Figaro. Aleksandra Romano, who made her Portland Opera debut in 2016 as Isabella in The Italian Girl in Algiers, joins the cast as Rosina. Tenor Jack Swanson will make his Portland Opera debut as Almaviva, a role he has recently sung with Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Glyndebourne. Eduardo Chama, last seen as Don Magnifico in last season’s La Cenerentola, will sing the role of Doctor Bartolo.

The cast also features bass Adam Lau in his Portland Opera debut as Don Basilio, former Portland Opera Resident Artist Antonia Tamer as Berta, and 2018/19 Resident Artists Geoffrey Schellenberg and Thomas Cilluffo as Fiorello and An Officer.

The Barber of Seville was made possible by generous gifts from OregonLive/The Oregonian, Remy Wines, Portland Internetworks, and Wave Form Systems, Inc. Portland Opera is grateful for the ongoing support of the Arts Impact Fund, The Collins Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, and Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Fun Facts

Portland Opera performed The Barber of Seville for the first time in 1966. The company has since performed the opera in 1970, 1976, 1984, 1995, 2004, and 2010. For a visual timeline of the company’s performances of the piece, please see the attached PDF.

Although written by different composers, The Barber of Seville is a prequel to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Both operas are based on a trilogy of plays by Pierre Beaumarchais.

Rossini claimed that he wrote The Barber of Seville in 13 days! He borrowed from his own works to compose this score – you can hear music from six other Rossini operas in this piece.

Tickets and Information

Performances take place at 7:30PM at the Keller Auditorium, with the exception of the matinee on June 9, which begins at 2:00 PM. One hour prior to each performance, audience members are invited to a pre-show lecture on the first balcony of the Keller Auditorium.

The Barber of Seville will be sung in Italian with projected English translations.

Portland Opera is a proud participant in Arts for All—providing $5 tickets for Oregon Trail Card holders.

A limited number of rush tickets (for seniors, students, and United States Armed Forces personnel and their families) are available for performances of The Barber of Seville. Student rush tickets are available online on the Monday before the performances. Call 503-241-1802 Monday through Friday from 10am-5pm for more information.

The performance on June 9 at 2pm will include an audio description of the visual and physical events on stage for patrons who are blind or have low vision. For patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing, each performance is visually translated with English text projected above the stage.

Tickets for The Barber of Seville are now available, starting at $35. For more information, and to purchase tickets visit or call Patron Services at 503-241-1802.  For more information, patrons may also contact the Opera Concierge at Monday through Friday from 10am-5pm.

The Barber of Seville Cast and Creative Team

John Moore as Figaro
Jack Swanson as Count Almaviva
Aleksandra Romano as Rosina
Eduardo Chama as Dr. Bartolo
Adam Lau as Don Basilio
Antonia Tamer as Berta
Geoffrey Schellenberg as Fiorello
Thomas Cilluffo as An Officer

Conductor, George Manahan
Director, Christopher Mattaliano
Costume Designer, James Scott
Scenic Designer, Allen Moyer
Lighting Designer, Paul Palazzo

About Portland Opera

Portland Opera exists to inspire, challenge, and uplift our audiences by creating productions of high artistic quality that celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera.

 Since 1964, Portland Opera has contributed to the cultural, artistic, and economic landscape of the city and region that we love. We celebrate the beauty and breadth of the opera repertoire with performances that take place in the Keller Auditorium, Newmark Theatre, and the Gregory K. and Mary Chomenko Hinckley Studio Theatre at the Hampton Opera Center. The company is also a committed educational partner, touring fully staged operas to schools and community centers throughout Oregon and SW Washington region each year, in addition to a host of other efforts designed to make opera accessible for all.

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Interviews, press comps, artist biographies, and more information available upon request.

Silja Tobin, Marketing & Communications Manager
Portland Opera