What the audience thought
I just wanted to say how much both myself and my husband enjoyed the opera "The Barber of Seville" on Saturday night, 29th Oct. My very first opera and a birthday treat :0) The set was beautiful and well thought out. The actors/ singers were all really great and brought a lot to each of their characters. I can't wait to go see another opera!
We saw it last Thursday-my husband and I, that are great opera lovers. My daughter -38 years old - is a reluctant goer. We all just loved it. We saw the setting 2007 and knew that was good. This time it was even better. It was funny, very funny. Every opportunity in interpretation was taken. Well sung. What a FIGARO! Good quality all through.
I wanted to write to say what a thoroughly superb evening my husband and I had at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow. We attended on Thursday 27 October to see the Barber of Seville. What a spectacle! Having never attended any opera before, we wanted to take in a “light” opera to “break our ducks”. We are both so glad we chose this opera. The cast, orchestra, scenery and of course, the singing were first class. Well done, Scottish Opera. We are now opera converts!! Keep up the great work.
Mrs Laura McManus
My wife and I enjoyed the recent performance of BOS very much. Great energy and verve. Over recent years we have seen many great performances by Scottish Opera and hope to be regular attenders for many more years. Only disappointments have been with Handel operas. But for anything Italian, Richard Strauss, Mozart, Wagner and many others – superb.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed last night`s performance as we are sure the rest of the audience did too judging by the applause. The singing was excellent and the orchestra in great form. However, the stage setting/scenery was top notch and the attention to detail superb. Some of the arrangements/placing of the chorus was absolutely fantastic/beautiful. The balance achieved across the stage, the colouring or colour arrangements were just lovely. We also loved the attention to detail in terms of chorus actions, for example the opening/closing of newspapers to little crescendos etc. in the music just made for a complete whole. Whoever was responsible should be congratulated. Well done everyone.
Ross & Janet Anderson
I went to see last night's production of The Barber of Seville and it was fantastic. I loved the set, the costumes, and of course the wonderful music performed so well by the people both above and below the stage. All in all it was a lovely night out for my friend and me. I haven't been to the opera for years, and I've never been to a Scottish Opera production before. I had the impression that operas are unnecessarily long and tedious, the singers are divas, the audience are snobs, and the tickets are exorbitant. Last night dispelled all except the last of these; we're on lentils until payday now. But I know that opera is inherently expensive to produce and that you've been making as many savings as you can over the years, so there probably isn't much you can do about that.
My daughters and I very much enjoyed last night’s performance of Barber of Seville at Glasgow Theatre Royal. To quote my 20 year old daughter “it was awesome.” A hugely entertaining production with world class singing and a great orchestra.
I saw the Barber of Seville at the Theatre Royal on 23 October and was captivated all the way through. Congratulations on a very fine production. All the singing was excellent, and I especially enjoyed Thomas Walker, Ville Rusanen, and Graeme Broadbent. The "stage business" was clever and well done - complemented the acting and singing. Congratulations!
We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening on Friday 21 October. Sir Thomas Allen's production of The Barber of Seville is magnificent, full of fun and delightful musical performances. The talent of the lead singers is outstanding and we hope to have more opportunities to see them in future productions. One tiny criticism is that for someone of my height (6'1") there should perhaps be a restricted view warning for the back row of the Dress Circle. We were in K18 and K19 and I had to bend down to see the heads of those performing in the upper parts of the set.
I thought the production of last night’s opera in Glasgow was first class. I attended it with my thirteen year old grand daughter who said it was "fab"
We are looking forward to the rest of the season.
This was great evening. The production was delightful; the cast acted and sang so well. The principals were well cast and brought out the humour and charm of the piece.
This is a great production, which we attended last night..........but Figaro needs a much better voice than you hired for this, a trend we have noticed recently of filling some principal roles with singers who are just not up to it. Almaviva - a very fine singer whom we hope to hear again at Scottish Opera - should be persuaded to sing his first two arias within his capabilities instead of attempting runs which even the best would struggle with. Tell him (or whoever is persuading him to sing these arias like this) to listen to Tito Schipa's 1926 recordings. Rossini doesn't necessarily need to be sung at the pace or as ambitiously as these two arias were delivered last night.
The immediate effect in Act One - of a disappointing Figaro & an Almaviva seemingly out of his depth but later put right - was unsettling for the prospective enjoyment of the opera, which otherwise then took off into an enjoyable evening. Other roles were well sung and much appreciated. Best wishes for a good season.
The fireworks took place inside Eden Court on Saturday. What a first class shave from the Barber. Brilliant production, singing, sets, orchestra - right down to the comprehensive and intelligent programme for sale too. You just don't seem to fail at Scottish Opera these days. Long may it happen. Bravo.
It's one of my favourite operas and for me, the funniest and happiest ever written, with so much business and great tunes. It thrilled at least 16 of us who came up from Nethy Bridge and the rest of the audience loved it too. I've seen it many times (first was with Teresa Berganza in Paris, c 1972) and this was the best star-studded performance. Not a weak link on stage. Please keep on bringing up to the Highlands such quality for those great operatic moments.
Saw this last Thursday at Eden Court and just loved it. Well put together and sung amazingly.
A superb performance in every way on 3rd Nov in Inverness. The attention to detail both from the singing and stage direction was extraordinary - best opera I have ever seen. Many thanks.
Re the performances at Eden Court – absolutely delightful. Beautiful singing and superb acting too, extracting the maximum amount of humour from the highly improbable storyline. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend both performances on the 3rd and 5th November. Two unforgettable evenings! Very many thanks
Fantastic show at Eden Court last night. Our 9yr old son was in the front row and was enchanted and even gave you all a standing ovation. He is a big fan and thanks ‘Don Basilio’ for the wave at the end! :-)
We saw The Barber of Seville at Eden Court, Inverness on 5th November and were enthralled by a brilliant performance from everyone.
Absolutely wonderful! The best Rossini opera production I've ever experienced: fantastic use of quite a small cast - superb singing and acting, amazingly inventive stage design, and such pace! There was so much energy in everyone's performance and all the cast seemed to be enjoying themselves, which was clearly conveyed to the audience. I just wish everyone could experience it, as it was such an enjoyable evening. We had quite a large group of teenagers behind us and they loved it too! Well done everyone concerned.
Your production of The Barber of Seville was a delight. I cannot sufficiently commend the talented cast and musicians. Thomas Walker's count gave us not only fine singing but a comic performance which recalled the brilliant Denny Willis. Thank you for such a rewarding evening.
Mr D.R. Kynoch
A wonderful evening's entertainment; superb singing, acting and staging. Sir Thomas Allen's direction was applauded and received with tremendous enthusiasm by a packed theatre. Here in Aberdeen we do not see nearly enough of Scottish Opera; perhaps the overwhelming response to this production will encourage more frequent visits by the company.
What an enjoyable performance this was. I enjoyed every minute. The scenery, acting, singing and orchestra all combined to make the evening magical. Thank you so much and please keep bringing performances like this to Aberdeen.
Dr I B Lockie
Music lovers in Aberdeen were given a treat this week when Scottish Opera brought their revival of Sir Thomas Allen’s successful 2007 production of Gioacchino Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville” to His Majesty’s Theatre. A bit like a pop musical of today, Rossini uses a thin plot to provide excuses for the pop music of the day – Neapolitan love songs. The discipline it takes to execute these pieces made the undoubted stars of the evening the coloratura soprano Claire Booth (as Rosina) and the romantic tenor Thomas Walker (as Count Almaviva), whose characters spend the entire opera trying to get married, aided by the Barber of Seville himself, Figaro (sung by tenor Ville Rusanen) and harried by the maiden Rosina’s guardian, Dr Bartolo (sung by bass Tiziano Bracci). While wooing Rosina, the Count pretends to be penniless (“Ricco non sono, un cuore vi dono”, I am not rich, but I give you my heart – in the aria “Se il mio nome saper voi bramate”) and this establishes a good popular theme appealing to the awakening social conscience in the Europe of Rossini’s time. The opera was set in 19th century Seville, and the set and costumes of Scottish Opera’s production reflected this well. The stage direction was full of amusing detail, and the overture was a tour de force of little acted-out scenes. How delightful to have the silhouette’s of guitars showing in the next-door shop. Graeme Broadbent was so funny as Don Basilio during the conspiratorial song “La calunnia e un venticello” (slander is a little breeze). I also liked the jokes with Count Almaviva at the keyboard pretending to be a music teacher for Rosina’s aria “Contro un cor” (shaking his hand after a fast bit and later turning a music page too early). However, more stage directorial input would have been beneficial, I felt, in Figaro’s trademark aria “Largo al factotum”. The vocal quality was excellent and the orchestra crisp and disciplined. The closing scene of act one revealed Teuta Koço (as Berta, a servant in Dr Bartolo’s household) to have a good mezzo-soprano voice.
Neil J Ross
I wanted to say how much my partner and I enjoyed last night's performance of 'Barber' in Aberdeen. It really helps when the main singers can ACT well and this was certainly the case. It is not an easy opera to bring across well, and, judging by the audience reaction around us, it worked brilliantly. Thank you for a superb evening's entertainment. More visits to Aberdeen, please?
Hello Operatic People. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance on Thursday night. It was full of fun with lots of very amusing details. They all looked and sang the part though I felt the Count sounded a bit strangled, at least to start with! Nerves? Super to have a full orchestra, and with a harpsichord. Great! The sets were delightful, especially the interior, with lovely lighting. It gave a great sense of depth. I'd totally forgotten that the sets were representing Cuba though the street scene was tatty enough! (I've NO idea why Cuba!) It wasn't till the cigars arrived that I remembered. I usually prefer my opera traditional rather than being updated, just for the sake of being different!
We also thoroughly enjoyed Orpheus over at Aboyne a little while ago. Bit too risqué for my delicate sensibilities, but hey ho, it's the 21st century, I suppose! The updating of the sets was clever and I liked that aspect...just to contradict myself!
Excellent. Best production I've seen. The set designer and craftsmen deserve a special mention. Well done.
Sparkling fun-filled performance! Loved every minute of it! Rest of the audience clearly agreed as evidenced by the applause at the end!
I saw The Barber on Saturday 12 November at His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen. The theatre was packed, as was the interval bar (always a positive sign). The spirit of the performers -- singers and musicians -- matched that of the music and the libretto, so that the evening was a romp and a delight. All the singers sang well and deserved the spontaneous applause which greeted solos, duets and groups. What held it together for me was the acting, comic acting not overdone to become caricature, but expressing the wonderful sense of silliness in the plot and the all too human frailties of the main characters. The swiftly changing groupings in the second act were skilfully performed and heightened the sense of farce very persuasively. And of course the introduction of main and minor characters, musicians and props during the overture was inspired. A night to remember. Come again.... and again....and again.....
Dr Iain Davidson
Together with friends I saw the performance of The Barber of Seville at His Majesty's Theatre on Thursday 10 November and absolutely loved it. It was wonderfully sung, acted and uplifting when we all need cheering up We can't wait for Scottish Opera's next visit to Aberdeen.
Figaro was epoch-makingly wonderful! For sheer enjoyment don't think it's ever been bettered for us - glorious singing and playing, spot-on comic acting, brilliant sets and direction. What an all-round great cast. Hope the many young people there had their minds opened and tell their friends
My wife and I attended last night's performance at The Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, of The Barber of Seville. We enjoyed it tremendously. One can imagine that Rossini himself would have thoroughly approved of the interpretation of his work. The sets and costumes were super, the singing so enjoyable and well balanced among the various parts, the acting of the different roles so amusing in keeping with the sheer exuberant hilarity of the opera; all held together to complete the experience by the conductor and his orchestra's splendid performance. To single out names would be inappropriate when describing a marvellous evening at the opera. Thank you very much.
Duncan & Rosemary McDougall
We both really enjoyed Barber of Seville from Scottish Opera, last night; fantastic performance, funny, clear, tight and precise and the set was another star to add to the tight chorus, spirited orchestra and great individual performances. Enjoyment was enhanced even further as the cast all seemed to enjoy themselves immensely! Bravo!
David Hood & Eleanor Christopher
This was a quite splendid performance and your cast, orchestra and backstage teams all deserved the prolonged applause at the end of last night's event. The cast in particular were exceptional in that they "acted" as well as sang their parts: the occasional piece of body language (during the piano lesson, for example), and the way in which the notary approached his role, made this head and shoulders above many other excellent operas we've seen. I will never watch a posse of policemen approaching a front door in the same way again, and the small, almost off-stage detail of the two nuns added to a great sense of comedy and humour that made this a special evening out for us. A word of praise is also due to the staff at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh. One of us in a wheelchair and, from an erratic service several years ago, the Festival Theatre staff can now be counted on consistently to come forward on our arrival and at the end of the performance and offer help with the lift. You have no idea how much this adds to the enjoyment of an evening.
David & Carolyn, Dalkeith
You asked in the programme what we thought of the Barber of Seville - we saw this on Tuesday 15th November in Edinburgh and thought it was absolutely fantastic in every way. The cast were excellent, the scenery great, the orchestra (despite one early review of the production where it said that it was rather slow) seemed to have quickened up and the whole production seemed to go really well. The whole cast seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves too which came across in the production.
I would pick out Claire Booth as totally outstanding - wonderful voice and a fantastic actress too. All in all we loved it - we took my brother and sister in law too, who were bowled over by it. Thank you very much for a wonderful evening.
This was about the best opera performance I have ever been to! The singing was all great, the acting excellent, the orchestra first-class and the production entertaining, with one exception - I thought the servant walking through the painting was a bit too much "slapstick"!
A J Rushworth
I very much enjoyed this production. Having an Italian tenor sing Bartolo and an Italian conductor no doubt helped.