“The Barber of Seville” is one of the most famous comedic operas of all time; its music has been featured in countless films, commercials and even an episode of “Looney Tunes.”
And we’ve seen its plot — wherein Count Almaviva tries to win the heart of the feisty Rosina with the help of Figaro, the cunning Barber of Seville — parodied in pop culture from “Seinfeld” to “The Simpsons.”
But the familiar story will be updated in early 2018, says Kentucky Opera general director Ian Derrer. The opera will have a new look (it’s going to be set in the 1960s with a sort of Fellini film vibe) and a world-class cast who are new to the Kentucky Opera stage.
“I’m really excited about this cast,” Derrer said. “The thing that is unique about this is that every single person, with the exception of one role of Berta, is making their Kentucky Opera debut, and so we’re bringing in people who have not been to Louisville before and that in itself is quite exciting.”
He said three of these cast members will be performing roles that are considered their “signature roles.”
“Will Liverman is our Figaro and he just had a tremendous success singing the exact same role for Seattle Opera,” Derrer said. “He, to me, is one of the young and up-and-coming superstars. He has an amazing voice and he has such great timing and comedic talent.”
Megan Marino will be playing Rosina.
“She has had fantastic success with this role as well in Fort Worth recently,” Derrer said. “She is another one who just has great charm and such an immense voice.”
Finally, the role of Dr. Bartolo will be played by bass-baritone Dale Travis, who has performed as a guest artist at the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera.
Kentucky Opera’s “The Barber of Seville” will run on February 16th and February 18th. The production will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Sets will be designed by Andrew Boyce, costumes by Sally Dolembo and stage direction by Matthew Ozawa. Maestro Robert Tweten will conduct the Louisville Orchestra during the production.