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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Barber of Seville @ Utah Opera (SLC: May 11, 13, 15 and 17)

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April 16, 2013
Media Contact: Jon Miles | Vice President, Marketing & Public Relations
jmiles@usuo.org | 801-869-9021




SALT LAKE CITY— “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!” sung by the witty and mischievous town barber, Figaro himself, is one of the most recognizable musical tunes in operatic history. Audiences have the opportunity to hear this famous music live and in its original context when Utah Opera presents Giachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.”

Utah Opera performs Rossini’s comic masterpiece “The Barber of Seville” May 11, 13, 15 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and May 19 at 2:00 p.m. at Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City (50 West 200 South). Celena Shafer, Utah native and Metropolitan Opera performer, returns to the Utah Opera stage as the charming Rosina. Robert McPherson, another Utah Opera favorite, sings the role of the love-stricken Count Almaviva. Will Liverman, praised by The New York Times as “a mellow-voiced and charismatic baritone,” makes his Utah Opera debut as the clever Figaro.

This production is directed by Tara Faircloth and conducted by Jerry Steichen, a Utah Opera regular who is now also the Utah Symphony’s Principal Pops Conductor. The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles and last approximately three hours with one twenty-minute intermission.

The hilarious story and playful music from “The Barber of Seville” captivates audiences of all ages. It has been featured in many musical and cartoon parodies including the infamous Bugs Bunny animation of Rossini’s delightful overture in “Rabbit of Seville.” Woody Woodpecker also sang Figaro’s legendary aria in his own 1944 version of “The Barber of Seville.”

In the exotic town of Seville, Count Almaviva sings and woos the confined and beautiful Rosina.  Figaro, the local barber, knows all the secrets in the town and explains to Almaviva that Rosina is kept locked up as the ward of Doctor Bartolo, who plans to marry her. Figaro devises a plan to help Almaviva get the girl by disguising the Count as a drunken solider under orders to be quartered at Bartolo’s own home. Chaos ensues as Bartolo grows suspicious and Figaro and Almaviva must come up with innovative ways to get closer to Rosina and prevent her marriage to Bartolo. 

Utah Opera Principal Coach Dr. Carol Anderson will offer a free Opera Prelude Lecture one hour before curtain of each performance in the front of the orchestra seating level of Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South).

Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth will hold a free Q&A session immediately following each performance in the front of the orchestra seating level of Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South).

Single tickets for the performances range from $13 to $78 and can be purchased by calling 801-355-2787, in person at the Capitol Theatre ticket office (50 West 200 South) or by visiting www.utahopera.org.  A limited number of $10 Youth Tickets and USUO Upbeat Tickets (discounts for patrons 30 or younger) are available for the Monday and Wednesday performances.  Subscribers and those requesting group rates should call 801-533-6683. All ticket prices are subject to change and availability.  Ticket prices will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.

Utah Opera presents
Composed by Giachino Antonio Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini

Capitol Theatre
May 11, 13, 15 and 17 at 7:00 p.m.
May 19 at 2:00 p.m.

Sung in Italian
English supertitle translation by Kathleen Lowe
Premiere: 1816
Previously at Utah Opera in 1980, 1987, 2006

Rosina                                                 Celena Shafer
Count Almaviva                                  Robert McPherson
Figaro                                                  Will Liverman
Don Basilio                                         Ryan Speedo Green
Dottore Bartolo                                   Michael Wanko
Fiorello                                                Shea Owens
Berta                                                   Sishel Claverie
Sergeant                                              Tyler Oliphant
Notary                                                 Gunter Radinger

Stage Director                                     Tara Faircloth
Conductor                                           Jerry Steichen
Chorus Master                                     Susanne Sheston
Musical Preparation                            Carol Anderson
Set Designer                                        Peter Dean Beck
Costume Designer                               Susan Memmott Allred
Lighting Designer                               Nicholas Cavallaro
Wigs and Make-up Designer              Yancey J. Quick
Guest Coach                                       Dallas Heaton
Assistant Rehearsal Pianist                 Sahar Nouri
Stage Manager                                    Amy Soll
Assistant Stage Manager                    Emily D. Grand
Supertitle Technician                          Glenn Linder


Act I
Seville. Count Almaviva comes in disguise to the house of Doctor Bartolo and serenades Rosina, whom Bartolo keeps confined to the house, beneath her balcony window. Figaro the barber, who knows all the town’s secrets and scandals, arrives. He explains to Almaviva that Rosina is Bartolo’s ward, not his daughter, and that the doctor intends to marry her. Figaro devises a plan: the count will disguise himself as a drunken soldier with orders to be quartered at Bartolo’s house so that he may gain access to the girl. Almaviva is excited and Figaro looks forward to a nice cash pay-off.

Rosina reflects on the voice that has enchanted her and resolves to use her considerable wiles to meet its owner, whom the count leads her to believe is a poor student named Lindoro. Bartolo appears with Rosina’s music master, Don Basilio. Basilio warns Bartolo that Count Almaviva, who has made known his admiration for Rosina, has been seen in Seville. Bartolo decides to marry Rosina immediately. Figaro, who has overheard the plot, warns Rosina and promises to deliver a note from her to Lindoro. Bartolo suspects that Rosina has indeed written a letter, but she outwits him at every turn. Angry at her defiance, Bartolo warns her not to trifle with him.
Almaviva arrives, creating a ruckus in his disguise as a drunken soldier, and secretly passes Rosina his own note. Bartolo is infuriated by the stranger’s behavior and noisily claims that he has an official exemption from billeting soldiers. Figaro announces that a crowd has gathered in the street, curious about the argument they hear coming from inside the house. The civil guard bursts in to arrest Almaviva but when he secretly reveals his true identity to the captain he is instantly released. Everyone except Figaro is amazed by this turn of events.

Act II
Bartolo suspects that the “soldier” was a spy planted by Almaviva. The count returns, this time disguised as Don Alonso, a music teacher and student of Don Basilio. He announces he will give Rosina her music lesson in place of Basilio, who, he says, is ill at home. “Don Alonso” tells Bartolo that he is staying at the same inn as Almaviva and has found a letter from Rosina. He offers to tell her that it was given to him by another woman, seemingly to prove that Lindoro is toying with Rosina on Almaviva’s behalf. This convinces Bartolo that “Don Alonso” is indeed a student of the scheming Basilio, and he allows him to give Rosina her music lesson. She sings an aria, and, with Bartolo dozing off, Almaviva and Rosina express their love.

Figaro arrives to give Bartolo his shave and manages to snatch the key that opens the doors to Rosina’s balcony. Suddenly Basilio shows up looking perfectly healthy. Almaviva, Rosina, and Figaro convince him with a quick bribe that he is sick with scarlet fever and must go home at once. While Bartolo gets his shave, Almaviva plots with Rosina to elope that night. But the doctor overhears them and furiously realizes he has been tricked again. Everyone disperses.  Bartolo summons Basilio, telling him to bring a notary so Bartolo can marry Rosina that very night. Bartolo then shows Rosina her letter to Lindoro, as proof that he is in league with Almaviva. Heartbroken and convinced that she has been deceived, she agrees to marry Bartolo. A thunderstorm rages. Figaro and the count climb a ladder to Rosina’s balcony and let themselves in with the key. Rosina appears and confronts Lindoro, who finally reveals his true identity as Almaviva. Basilio shows up with the notary. Bribed and threatened, he agrees to be a witness to the marriage of Rosina and Almaviva. Bartolo arrives with soldiers, but it is too late. Almaviva explains to Bartolo that it is useless to protest and Bartolo accepts that he has been beaten. Figaro, Rosina, and the count celebrate their good fortune.

Sishel Claverie (Mexico) - Berta
Most Recently at Utah Opera: “The Magic Flute “
Utah Opera Resident Artist;
“Rigoletto,” “Il Trovatore,” Utah Opera;
“The Consul,” Opera New Jersey;
“To Cross the Face of the Moon,” Houston Grand Opera;
“Ariadne auf Naxos,” Rice Opera;
“Così fan tutte,” Moores Opera Center
“The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein,” The Santa Fe Opera

Ryan Speedo Green (Florida) – Don Basilio
Utah Opera Debut
“Parsifal,” The Metropolitan Opera;
“Turandot,” The Metropolitan Opera;
“La Bohème,” Central City Opera
“Il Viaggio a Reims,” Wolf Trap Opera;
“Madame Butterfly,” The Metropolitan Opera

Will Liverman (Virginia) - Figaro
Utah Opera debut
“Werther,” “La Bohème,” Lyric Opera of Chicago;
“The Last Savage,” The Santa Fe Opera;
“Kommilitonen!,” Juilliard Opera Center
“Carmina Burana,” University of Chicago;
“The Barber of Seville,” “La Traviata,” “Madame Butterfly,” “Die Fledermaus,” Lyric Opera of Chicago

Robert McPherson (Washington) – Count Almaviva
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “Rigoletto”
“The Magic Flute,” English National Opera;
“Turn of the Screw,” “La Juive,” “La fille du regiment,” “Il viaggio a Reims,” New Israeli Opera;
“Wozzeck,” Houston Symphony Orchestra
“Anna Bolena,” Welsh National Opera;
“Otello,” Vlaamse Opera

Tyler Oliphant (Utah) - Sergeant
Most Recently at Utah Opera: “The Magic Flute”
“Madame Butterfly,” Intermountain Opera Bozeman;
“Rigoletto,” “Il Trovatore,” Utah Opera
“Falstaff,” Utah Lyric Opera Ensemble
“Pirates of Penzance,” Indianapolis Opera

Shea Owens (Arizona) - Fiorello
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “The Magic Flute”
“La Bohème,” Central City Opera;
“Die Fledermaus,” Rice University;
“Les Contes d'Hoffmann,” Wolf Trap Opera;
“The Magic Flute,” Phoenix Opera;
“Don Giovanni,” Brigham Young University
“Our Town,” “The Barber of Seville,” Central City Opera

Celena Shafer (Utah) - Rosina
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “Rigoletto”
Bach: Mass in B Minor, Atlanta Symphony;
“Carmina Burana,” Phoenix Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's;
“Abduction from the Seraglio,” Utah Opera 
Utah Opera in the Open Air, Deer Valley® Music Festival

Michael Wanko (Bronx, NY) - Don Bartolo
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “Gianni Schicchi”
“The Marriage of Figaro,” Austin Lyric Opera;
“The Elixir of Love,” Opera on the James & Mississippi Opera;
Documentary "Detropia" (“The Mikado”) from Michigan Opera Theatre

Tara Faircloth (Houston, TX) - Stage Director
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “Rigoletto”
“La Fille du regiment,” Tulsa Opera;
“The Rake's Progress,” Wolf Trap Opera;
 “Il Trovatore,” Opera Colorado
“HMS Pinafore,” Arizona Opera;
“The Elixir of Love,” Arroyos Foundation, NYC

Jerry Steichen - Conductor
Most recently at Utah Opera, “Cinderella”
Utah Opera in the Open Air, Deer Valley® Music Festival;
“Fatal Song,” Utah Opera

Susanne Sheston (Iowa) – Chorus Master
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “The Magic Flute”
Cover Conductor and Chorus Master, Utah Opera 2002-13;
Chorus Master, The Santa Fe Opera 2008-13

Peter Dean Beck (New York) - Set Design
Most recently at Utah Opera, “La Traviata”
“Dialogues of the Carmelites,” Hawaii Opera Theatre;
“The Sound of Music,” Skylight Music Theatre;
“Cold Sassy Tree,” Florida State Opera;
“Rake's Progress” and “Falstaff,” University of Colorado, Boulder
“Turandot,” Hawaii Opera Theatre;
“Les Misérables,” Skylight Music Theatre

Susan Memmott Allred (Utah) – Costume Designer
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “The Magic Flute”
Resident Designer, Utah Opera 1979–2011;
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert;
Mormon Miracle Pageant;
University of Utah Pioneer Memorial Theatre;
Exhibition Ski Clothing;
Utah Shakespearean Festival;
Southern Utah State College

Nicholas Cavallero (Utah) – Lighting Design
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “The Magic Flute”
“Florencia en el Amazonas,” Utah Opera;
“Cinderella,” Ballet West;
“Into the Woods,” Grand Theater

Yancey J. Quick (Utah) – Wigh and Makeup Designer
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “The Magic Flute”
“Florencia en el Amazonas,” Utah Opera;
Ballet West (Wig Master);
Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cosmetologist);
Utah Lyric Opera Ensemble (Wig and Makeup Design)


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