Celebrate New Year’s and Eugene Opera’s return to the stage with Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
This light-hearted comedy features the clever barber Figaro helping a pair of young lovers outwit a wicked guardian. Enjoy the comic antics and sparkling music (think “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!”) performed under the baton of Maestro Andrew Bisantz.
The wealthy Count Almaviva, posing as a poor student named Lindoro, courts the beautiful young Rosina, hoping she will fall in love with him rather than his money. The tyrannical old Doctor Bartolo, Rosina’s guardian, plots to make her his wife — in defiance of her wishes and common decency. Basilio, Rosina’s sly music tutor, encourages the doctor to slander his rival. But the clever barber Figaro comes to the rescue, singing the aria that Bugs Bunny made famous — and merry, melodious chaos ensues! This all-time favorite comic opera by Rossini is sure to get your New Year off to a great start!
Here’s a short video to give you the general idea:
Dramatic Baritone Malcolm MacKenzie thrilled us as Lucia’s domineering, villainous brother Enrico in our 2015 Lucia di Lammermoor. Now he returns as the witty and beloved Figaro, the celebrated barber who saves the day. Mr. MacKenzie has been heard at leading opera houses throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera.
A critically acclaimed artist with Metropolitan Opera and international credits, Mezzo-Soprano Heather Johnson is known for her portrayal of Rosina, the witty and clever heroine who wins the heart of Count Almaviva. This is her Eugene Opera debut.
A frequent Eugene Opera guest artist, (Germont, La traviata; Judge Turpin, Sweeney Todd; Gremin, Eugene Onegin), the popular and versatile Bass-Baritone Jake Gardner returns to our stage as Dr. Bartolo. We are proud to have him back in this pivotal comedic role.
Tenor Javier Abreu is known for his energetic performances and commanding stage presence, a perfect fit for the role of Count Almaviva. Mr. Abreu’s credits include appearances in Germany, Spain, Chile, Israel, and many opera houses in the United States. This is his Eugene Opera debut.
A two-time Grammy nominee, Bass-Baritone Craig Phillips will be making his role debut and Eugene Opera debut as Don Basilio, Rosina’s music teacher. Craig is an assistant professor of voice and vocal pedagogy at the University of Oregon and a founding member of the male quartet New York Polyphony.
Eugene Opera audiences have enjoyed Bass-Baritone Bill Hulings in varied roles (Ashby, The Girl of the Golden West; Don Pédro, Much Ado About Nothing; Falke, Die Fledermaus). Now he returns as Fiorello, Count Almaviva’s servant.
A Eugene Opera chorus member for five seasons, Mezzo-Soprano Victoria McCoy makes her role debut as Berta, Dr. Bartolo’s servant. She has recently appeared as Hänsel in Portland Summer Opera Workshop’s Hänsel und Gretel, and Dorabella in the University of Oregon’s Così fan tutte.
Having brilliantly directed three of our most successful recent productions — The Girl of the Golden West, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Eugene Onegin — Stage Director David Lefkowich is a company favorite, and we are thrilled to have him back to direct this comic masterpiece!
Maestro Andrew Bisantz is back in his customary place on our podium. After nine years of outstanding service as Eugene Opera’s Music Director and Principal Conductor, he has now accepted an expanded role as Artistic Director and Conductor. In addition to conducting for Eugene Opera this season, he has engagements at Seagle Music Colony, Virginia Opera, Buffalo Philharmonic, Opera Tampa, and Opera Saratoga.