Seattle Opera Closes Season With THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

Performances run May 4–19, 2024.

By: Mar. 29, 2024
Seattle Opera Closes Season With THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
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One of the most popular operas in history, Gioachino Rossini’s comedy The Barber of Seville returns to the Seattle Opera stage to close out the company’s 60th-anniversary season. With zany antics, eye-catching costumes, and singing that will knock your socks off, The Barber of Seville features the best of everything opera has to offer.

“The Barber of Seville offers a perfect balance of delights,” said General Director Christina Scheppelmann. “It’s funny without making you roll your eyes, it has some of the catchiest tunes you’ve ever heard, and it has a cute story that reminds us that opera isn’t always tragic and serious. There’s a reason this opera has been in continuous production since its premiere in 1816—it's simply a delightful opera that appeals to everyone.”

Audiences will recognize many of the opera’s famous tunes, from the fantastic overture immortalized by Bugs Bunny to the iconic, tongue-twisting aria “Largo al factotum” and its lightning-quick cries of “Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!”

Singing these tunes is an exciting cast of up-and-coming singers, including several Seattle Opera debuts. Sharing the role of Rosina are mezzo-sopranosMegan Moore, in her Seattle Opera debut, and Taylor Raven, who returns to Seattle Opera for the first time since her appearance as Hannah After in As One (’16). Alternating as Count Almaviva are Korean tenor Duke Kim, back in Seattle following his triumphant debut as Alfredo in La traviata (’23), and Colombian tenor César Cortés, making his Seattle Opera debut. Baritones Sean Michael Plumb and Luke Sutliff both make their Seattle Opera debuts as Figaro, while the two basses singing the role of Doctor Bartolo, Kevin Burdette (Doctor Bartolo, The Marriage of Figaro ’22) and Ashraf Sewailam(Hakim/Driver, A Thousand Splendid Suns ’23), are both returning mainstays. The rest of the singing cast are making their Seattle Opera debuts, including bass William Guanbo Su as Don Basilio, mezzo-soprano Deanne Meek as Berta, baritone Zachary Martin as the Officer, and baritone and 2023/24 Resident Artist Michael J. Hawk as Fiorello.

Seattle-based burlesque performer Waxie Moon (Marc Kenison) also returns to Seattle Opera in the non-singing role of Ambrogio, following up on his 2017 debut in the same role.

The colorful production is directed by Australian director Lindy Hume, whose past productions at Seattle Opera (Cinderella ’19, Rigoletto ’19, and Count Ory ’16) have garnered her a reputation for incisive commentary and “uproarious” (The Seattle Times) comedy.

“The Barber of Seville might be the greatest sitcom ever,” said Hume, whose Popular Productions of Barber have run all around the world. “Show me another sitcom that has maintained its global popularity for more than a few decades and we can compare. So much about the world has changed—our sense of comedy has changed—and yet when the orchestra strikes up with that famous tune, 200 years after it was written, it’s still guaranteed to send a shot of adrenaline from stage to audience and back again.”

On the podium is Italian conductor Valentina Peleggi, distinguished protégée of Marin Alsop and current music director of the Richmond Symphony, who makes her Seattle Opera debut. The rest of the creative team all return to Seattle Opera: Associate Director & Choreographer Daniel Pelzig (Cinderella’19); Production Designer Tracy Grant Lord (Cinderella ’19); Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall (Cinderella ’19); Wigs, Hair, & Makeup Designer Ashlee Naegle (X: The Life & Times of Malcolm X ’24); and Chorus Master Michaella Calzaretta (La traviata ’23).