The IU Opera Theater’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is musically and theatrically a lively one. The music is energetically and lyrically offered. The story is well told and the gags abound. Mark Ross Clark in responsible for the staging. He’s got the singers doing about as much acting as possible and I’ve never seen C. David Higgins revolving set used to better advantage.
Eric Small was Saturday night’s Barber. He sang very well and his engaging aplomb reminded me of a young Chevy Chase. The Barber’s task is to use all of his ingenuity and connections to help the love stricken Count Almaviva woo Rosina, and to save her from marriage to her guardian the cantankerous old Dr. Bartolo.
Eric Small sang the part of the enamoured Count. Rossini is terribly rewarding to singers, but the road he maps can be treacherous. Small has a tight focused tenor and had what sounded like a near fatal crash at the end of his opening aria, but came back strongly through the rest of the evening.
The Rosina that he longs for was sung by April Golliver.. Her deportment along with the wig and extreme eye shadow seemed to suggest an older and more settled woman. I think of Rosina as a more youthful, and flirtatious girl, but Golliver she certainly was up to the lyricism and gymnastics of the lovely music.
Now that we’ve talked about the heros and heroine, it’s time to mention those delightful villains that Rossini’s …Barber of Seville treats us too.
David Meyer was the old pantelon and guardian Dr. Bartolo. Meyer was just mean enough to arouse our ire and just comical enough to let us laugh it off. He was ably or disably abetted by Brian Banion as the scheming Don Basillio.
Corey McKern had a nice comic turn as a wind blow servant in the famous storm scene.
Imre Pallo conducted the successful evening, even taking a turn at the harpsichord to accompany the recitatives.