The Barber of Seville: Reviews
The Herald ****
'First seen in 2007, this production already looks set to become a Scottish Opera classic. It's not flashy, but it is solid: warm-hearted, handsome, affectionately funny, and -this time round at least - very well sung. The director is Sir Thomas Allen, the great English baritone who has himself played the role of Figaro many times and whose insider's grasp of the opera is evident. Every detail of the convoluted plot is handled with calm and clever detail; the wit is just right, complete with comedy moustaches and, better still, comedy nuns. Just as Rossini pokes musical fun at his silliest characters, Allen treats all the buffo stereotypes with a gentle degree of ridicule and dignity...'
The Times ****
'Rossini's quick-fire comedy of frustrated lovers plotting to thwart an overly attentive guardian with the help of Seville's polymath Barber zings from the stage in this revival of Thomas Allen's 2007 production, directed once more by the moonlighting baritone. While it was no damp squib first time round, Barber is far more amusing and dynamic in revival, with just enough suggestion of ulterior motive to stop it from descending into a two-dimensional romp. On Simon Higlett's wonderful 19th-century set of dilapidated buildings and breezy pastels, Rossini's Barber unravels with vibrant attention to onstage detail. Allen knows how to ratchet up the Rossinian humour, though the trademark is his own...'
The Scotsman ****
...the production is a pleasure which deserves to be repeated. Frivolous and frothy it certainly is, and who would wish it any other way? ...The cumulative effect is not only beautiful to behold, it also presents a fitting aesthetic home for opera buffa in the 21st century.
Scottish Daily Express ****
'Gosh. An opera that is actually funny. Not titter-behind-the-fan funny, but laugh-out-loud funny. Such is this exuberant take on Rossini's Barber of Seville...This is an evening of pure pleasure.'