Opera Review: Barber of Seville

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Presented by Co-Opera
Reviewed 22 April 2018

Rossini’s comic opera about a barber who is also a matchmaker maintains its popularity through the years and this production, back from touring interstate, is as fresh as any modern piece. Playing on a simple, easily transported set with an excellent group of musicians the only drawback was the restrictions in viewing, a problem common to companies who have to adapt other spaces as theatres.

The use of current affairs in the comic lines kept the audience listening for more quips, but that was not what they were there for; the singers did not disappoint. In the title role of Figaro, Shoumendu Schornikow was full of fun and had good stage presence and he handled the music well. Of course, everyone was interested in the two lovers, Bronwyn Douglass as Rosina and Shanul Sharma as Count Almaviva. Their wonderful voices more than did justice to the difficult pieces, both being comfortable with the upper register. A joy to listen to; with real connection between them. Douglass was coquettish and knowing, always aided by Berta and Sharma was dashing and determined just as Almaviva should be.

Rosina’s guardian, Matt Biscombe, obviously took delight in the comic aspects of the role and played Dr Bartolo with exaggeration. Sidonie Henbest was at home as Berta and is the expert of the wry look, again beautifully sung. As the music teacher Don Basilio, Eddie Muliaumaseali’i’s, resonant deep tones were a joy to hear. Rod Schultz seemed to enjoy himself as Fiorello and in various other parts, adding to the pleasure of the comedy.

Tessa Bremner’s direction has managed to get a good performance on an inadequate stage and coupled with Josh van Konkelenberg’s musical direction has produced a fine musical comedic production. A delight to be reacquainted with this lovely piece.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Adelaide Showgrounds, Rose Tce
Season:22, 28 & 29 April 2018
Duration: 3hr
Tickets: $39-49 Student $10
Bookings: http://www.co-opera.com.au/events/

 

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Glam Adelaide Arts Writer & Reviewer

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