“Opera has long held a special place of prominence at the College of Music, and it serves as an ideal vehicle to showcase the talents of our musicians and the professional quality of our productions. If you are one of many in our community who has been a regular patron of opera at Florida State University, we welcome you back for this production in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.” With these words, Todd Queen, Dean of the College of Music, aptly sets the stage for FSU Opera’s highly anticipated production of Rossini’s classic masterpiece, Il barbiere di Siviglia.
While this timeless opera has captivated audiences for centuries with its humorous plot, memorable melodies, and intricate vocal performances, FSU Opera’s rendition of Il barbiere di Siviglia promises to be a unique and exciting experience, thanks in large part to the director, Matthew Lata, who explains, “Rossini’s comedies are rhythmic, highly charged, and fast-moving, emphasizing broad physical characterization and the very act of singing. Sprinkled into the fun are interludes of quieter humor with a human touch. Our production honors the commedia roots of the piece,” he continues, “by putting primary emphasis on the improvisatory aspects of the performance style. We establish a unique set of rules that govern our version of Seville. In this chaotic world, architectural pieces can be moved when convenient and scenery is animate and adversarial. Landscapes are jumbled. Storms can be created when needed. The next moment of chaos or the next explosion is right around the corner.”
With this fresh and innovative approach, audiences can expect a dynamic and visually striking interpretation of the opera. The concept of an animate and adversarial stage design creates a sense of unpredictability that mirrors the chaotic world of the characters in Seville, where love, deception, and comedic mishaps are the order of the day.
Il barbiere di Siviglia is a story of love, disguise, and scheming, with Figaro, the clever barber, orchestrating a series of comical events to help Count Almaviva win the heart of the beautiful Rosina. The playful energy of Rossini’s score and the witty libretto add to the overall charm of the production.
What truly sets this production apart, however, is the talent and dedication of FSU’s young musicians and the vibrant synergy they create with Lata’s artistic vision. The students, under the guidance of renowned faculty members, bring their best to the stage, showcasing their remarkable vocal and acting abilities. This production is a testament to the College of Music’s commitment to nurturing emerging talent.
FSU Opera’s Il barbiere di Siviglia promises to be a memorable and entertaining night for both opera enthusiasts and newcomers. With a unique twist on Rossini’s beloved comedy, this production captures the essence of commedia dell’arte while highlighting the skill and creativity of FSU’s talented students.
Make your way to the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall and witness the magic of FSU Opera as they transport you to a chaotic yet enchanting world of love, laughter, and unforgettable melodies. Performances will be held nightly at 7:30 p.m. October 26-28, with a matinée performance at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 29. Reserved seating; tickets are available online at tickets.music.fsu.edu.