Seattle Opera presents “The Barber of Seville” (Rossini), Oct. 14-28, 2017. (Image courtesy of Opera Queensland | Steve Henry)

Opera preview of Rossini’s comic prequel

  • Friday, October 6, 2017 3:15pm
  • Life

Join opera aficionado Norm Hollingshead as he previews “The Barber of Seville,” Rossini’s comic prequel to Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro.”

The free talk is 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Bainbridge Public Library.

For more information, call 206-842-4162 or visit

Seattle Opera says:

Following “The Wicked Adventures of County Ory” (2016), stage director Lindy Hume and Maestro Giacomo Sagripanti return to create yet another colorful, eye-catching production with toe-tapping melodies — including one of the most iconic overtures of all time.

The performance also includes an appearance by Juilliard-trained burlesque sensation, Marc Kenison, who performs in Seattle and beyond as Waxie Moon. Kenison will bring his comedic and dance stylings to the highly physical role of Ambrogio.

“Whether it’s a Bugs Bunny cartoon or the opening scene of Mrs. Doubtfire, chances are, most everyone has enjoyed the irresistible charm of Barber at one point or another,” said general director Aidan Lang. “To experience this opera is to understand why its music is often a first choice for Hollywood, and why it’s beloved all over the world.”

Twenty-three-year-old Gioachino Rossini created this bold, youthful prequel to Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” in just a whirlwind 13 days. This is the story of Count Almaviva, who arrives in Seville to search for the mysterious woman — Rosina — whom he met in Madrid. When he learns that she is soon to be married to her tyrannical guardian Bartolo, he enlists the help of the cunning barber Figaro to win her hand.

Almaviva and Rosina fall in love, and Rosina turns her mind to duping Bartolo. Told through a parade of hysterical schemes, the opera concludes with an “all is forgiven” finale bubbling over with joy.

Making company debuts are Spanish soprano Sabina Puértolas and Russian soprano Sofia Fomina who alternate as the fair Rosina; plus Matthew Grills, who shares the part of Count Almaviva with fellow American tenor Andrew Owens (Leicester, “Mary Stuart”). Returning to McCaw Hall are the two Figaros, John Moore (Papageno, “The Magic Flute”) and Will Liverman (Raimbaud, “Count Ory”); plus Kevin Glavin as Dr. Bartolo, Daniel Sumegi as Don Basilio, Margaret Gawrysiak as Berta, Ryan Bede as Fiorello, and Kwangsuk Ku as the officer.

Known for his signature mustache, bald head, and gender-bending glamour when performing as Waxie Moon in “Homo for the Holidays” at Century Ballroom or “Camptacular” at The Triple Door, Marc Kenison makes his company debut in the non-singing role of Ambrogio.

“The Barber of Seville” opens Saturday, Oct. 14, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 28.

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