‹ Back to What's On The Barber of Seville

7 Oct - 19 Nov 2015

Gioachino Rossini (1816)

Rosina is rich, beautiful and in love with a dashing young Count. However, her elderly guardian, Doctor Bartolo, has designs on her himself, and does everything he can to put obstacles in the way of their happiness. But with the help of the sharp-witted Figaro, true love finally triumphs.

Tuneful and vivacious, Rossini’s score contains one irresistibly catchy number after another, ranging from the fireworks of Figaro’s ‘Largo al factotum’ to the seductive beauty of the Count’s ‘Ecco, ridente’.

Giles Havergal’s handsome period production delivers pure enjoyment with bags of style. This revival features three exceptionally engaging young singers in Nicholas Watts (Count), Katie Bray (Rosina) and Gavan Ring (Figaro). They are joined by one of the UK’s most distinguished operatic basses, Alastair Miles, as Basilio, and this classic production wouldn’t be complete without the comic genius of Eric Roberts as Bartolo.

Sung in English
Lasts approximately 3 hours

The Music

What the critics say

From the punchy overture to some blissfully whirlwind ensembles, Stratford understands the yin and yang of comic Rossini.

The Times - Read full review

Cast
  • Rosina Katie Bray
  • Count Almaviva Nicholas Watts
  • Figaro Gavan Ring
  • Doctor Bartolo Eric Roberts
  • Don Basilio Alastair Miles (ex 17, 19 Nov)
  • Don Basilio Dean Robinson (17, 19 Nov)
  • Berta Victoria Sharp
  • Fiorello Nicholas Butterfield
Creative Team
  • Conductor Stuart Stratford (ex 3 & 5 November)
  • Conductor Timothy Burke (3 & 5 November)
  • Director Giles Havergal
  • Set & Costume Designer Russell Craig
  • Lighting Designer Gerry Jenkinson

Click on the venue below to plan your visit.

Leeds Grand Theatre

Find Us

46 New Briggate
Leeds Grand Theatre
LS1 6NZ

Important Information

The theatre is easily accessible by public transport. It is approximately 10 minutes walk from the main bus station and 15 minutes walk from the train station with many buses stopping in the immediate vicinity. For the most up to date information on local bus and train times, please check WYMetro. There is also a taxi rank outside the theatre although we recommend booking a taxi in advance, particularly on a Friday or Saturday evening.

Parking is available at various nearby car parks, including Edward Street/Templar Street and the St John's and Merrion Centre shopping malls. A limited amount of on street parking available near the theatre is free after 6pm but this does tend to fill up very quickly.

Nearby

Box office: 0844 848 2720

Enjoy 20% off your bill at Sandinista (Cross Belgrave Street - New Briggate) on presentation of your Opera North ticket when placing their food order. To book a table call 0113 305 0372. Food is served till 10pm through the week with final orders at 9pm Friday and Saturday. Only valid on the day of the performance their ticket is for. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. 

Newcastle

Find Us

100 Grey Street
Newcastle
NE1 6BR

Important Information

Box office: 08448 112121

Parking

Free Parking in all City Council multi-storey carparks after 5pm.

The two closest car parks to Theatre Royal are the Oxford Street multi-storey (just behind the Laing) and the Dean Street multi-storey. Click here for more info.

There are two parking spaces for blue badge holders on Shakespeare Street and three on Hood Street. Most parking meters are free to Blue Badge Holders.

Metro

Alight at Monument Metro Station and follow the signs for the Theatre Royal. We are less than one minutes walk from the Metro entrance on Grey Street.

Travel free on the Metro with your theatre ticket (up to two hours before and after the performance) - simply retain your theatre ticket for inspection by Metro Staff.

Train

The Theatre Royal is only ten minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station.

Salford Quays

Find Us

Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ

Important Information

Box office: 0843 208 6000 

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level. 

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/

Nottingham

Find Us

Theatre Square
Nottingham
NG1 5ND

Important Information

Box office: 0115 989 5555

By Car

Follow signs for the city centre and the 'Royal Zone'. Nearest car parks are Talbot Street car park and Crowne Plaza Hotel car park on Wollaton Street.
For maps and information about on-street parking, off-street car parks, park and ride and the blue badge scheme please visit Parking In Nottingham

By Bus

For bus times call Nottingham City Transport on 0115 950 6070, Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk   Find out about our £1 return bus ticket here.

By Tram

 The 'Royal Centre' tram stop is directly outside the venue and runs every 10 minutes until midnight. There are five Park and Ride sites along the route. Visit www.thetram.net or call 0115 942 7777 for full details of the tram route. Find out about our £1 return tram ticket here.

By Rail

Nottingham Station is a 15 minute walk or a short taxi or tram ride from the venue. Call 0845 748 4950 or www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times and fares. 

What you say

Comment from Francesco

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Francesco said ago

I was a little prejudiced about it being sung in English, but it was one of the best barbiere production I have seen. The only glitch is in the arias: English is unsuitable, the orchestra drawn the singer's voices, and judging from the comments nobody understands the words sung anyway. Why don't you sing the arias in Italian? With subtitles. And all the rest in English.

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said ago

What a superb production full of wit and warmth. The imaginative set gave a fine 'new' feel to things while still retaining a period look.
Alastair Miles showed his class Gavan Ring was a joyous Figaro and Nicholas Watts gave much pleasure as the count.
Sadly, vast swathes of the opera were not clearly heard so the lack of surtitles was a bad move. After the blunder with Peter Grimes, Opera North have not learnt their lesson. I will visit again in the Spring, but it won't be Cosi which will be English with no titles.

Opera North response:

We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the performance of The Barber of Seville. In relation to surtitles, we make a decision about whether to include them for operas sung in English early in the production process. We feel that comedies in particular, like The Barber of Seville or The Marriage of Figaro earlier in the year, are better presented without titles, so that there isn't a delay in between a sung line and the surtitle which could affect the comic timing of the piece. However, we are very grateful for all feedback and will take your comment on board when considering this in future.

With best wishes,

Opera North

Comment from Eric Anthony

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Eric Anthony said ago

What a wonderful evening most enjoyable.The only slight criticism was that the orchestra was slightly loud in one or two parts and it was a little difficult to follow the dialogue.Apart from that it was a perfect evening and I am hoping I will be able to make it from Mid Wales to Leeds for Cosi Fan Tutte.

Comment from sylvia lanfranchi

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sylvia lanfranchi said ago

Sadly at the last minute could not attend due to family illness and could not pass on tickets at short notice.
We await next time.

Comment from Operagoer53

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Operagoer53 said ago

An utterly enchanting evening. Having seen many productions of Barber over the years, this was one of the absolute best. Visually stunning, with the action played out on a mock-up stage on three levels. The casting was well-nigh perfect, with the younger, brighter voices of Figaro, Rosina and the Count sounding fresh as paint, contrasting with the older, more experienced and polished characterisations of Bartolo and Basilio.
In response to other comments here, Opera North have absolutely made the right decision not to use surtitles, as the eye would be too easily drawn towards the titles at the expense of missing the continuous flow of visual gags and facial expressions (this opera is full of them) on stage.
A perfect evening, and the perfect introduction to opera for a younger audience.

Comment from Ruth Holt

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Ruth Holt said ago

Great fun, with great singing from Rosina and the Count especially. Rosina - what a range, what control! Lindoro/Alma Viva - what a beautiful tone. I was sitting in the balcony and found the diction very good over all, so I could follow the story; however, the orchestra sometimes drowned solo voices. As ever with Rossini, I enjoyed the soloists and chorus all singing together, especially just before the interval.

The music generally was full of melody, wit and verve.

Well done! Gold stars all round.

Beautiful, colourful costumes and staging, but I was a bit confused as to what period it was supposed to be. Rosina looked 18th century except for the ruff (Elizabethan?) and some of the men looked Victorian with their top hats.

Alas, my husband, who prefers Bartok and Philip Glass, says it is 3 hours of his life he will never get back. However, he has earned brownie points with me.

Comment from Graham Turner

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Graham Turner said ago

An enjoyable evening with some wonderful visual moments. At our performance(27/10) Nicholas Watts started with a very thin voice; initially we wondered if he was either not warmed up, or even unwell. He did find his stride later in the performance. Gavan Ring sang accurately and strongly throughout, whilst the quality of Alastair Miles was truly rewarding. The set was lovely, cleverly designed, and exploited throughout. As expected, the male chorus had little to do, but what they did was superb. It remains a matter or regret that surtitles are not available, as despite obvious efforts, much of the libretto is missed, especially in the higher register of female voices, no matter how charming the presentation.

Opera North response:

Dear Graham,

Many thanks for your feedback on this production. We do title some operas sung in English, but not all of them – we make the decision on a case by case basis, for example we are titling our current production of Jenufa.

We often don’t title comedies sung in English, because of the precious relationship between the singer and the audience, especially in the delivery of punch lines. There’s always a danger of reading those out of sync and we work hard to ensure excellent enunciation and balance, so that lines are clear. If there’s an opera to be sung in English, where it’s difficult to hear the words because of the way the music is written or a difficult translation, we will often title it.

We value audience feedback very highly and this is a decision that we will continue to revisit in future in the production process.

Best wishes,

Opera North

Comment from Roy

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Roy said ago

We saw the Barber of Seville yesterday which at age 61 was my first opera. What a wonderful experience. I shall look forward to the next one now

Comment from Nicholas Dobson

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Nicholas Dobson said ago

Excellent, colourful, energetic, rip-roaring comic opera/farce with first class singing all round and wonderful music from the outstanding Opera North orchestra. Should be prescribed medicinally as a sure-fire mood-lifter.

Comment from Eric Cheetham

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Eric Cheetham said ago

An excellent production, the stand in for Rosina was a star. My only criticism - why no surtitles? Jenufa was sung in English, and we had surtitles for that !

Opera North response:

Dear Eric, we are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the performance of The Barber of Seville. In relation to surtitles, we make a decision about whether to include them for operas sung in English early in the production process. We feel that comedies in particular, like The Barber of Seville or The Marriage of Figaro earlier in the year, are better presented without titles, so that there isn't a delay in between a sung line and the surtitle which could affect the comic timing of the piece. However, we are very grateful for all feedback and will take your comment on board when considering this in future.

With best wishes,

Opera North

Comment from Harry

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Harry said ago

We've just watched a superbly entertaining performance of the Barber of Seville. Musical excellence, comic brilliance and a visual treat. Thank you Opera North!

Comment from Garry Morris

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Garry Morris said ago

This was only my second ever opera (both times at The Grand). I really enjoyed it. 10/10...I guess I'll be back.

Comment from John

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John said ago

A really enjoyable performance: the production added a good deal to the great deal of humour that is already there, and I'm sure Rossini would have approved!

Comment from Toni C Johnston

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Toni C Johnston said ago

The production was witty and funny, with marvellous singing. Having characters on the stage watching the performance was a very clever device. All in all a very enjoyable night out.

Comment from Sanni

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Sanni said ago

Absolutely breathtaking performances by the wonderful cast.

Comment from Country cousins

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Country cousins said ago

Barber of Seville absolutely brilliant last night..
Beautifully sung, well acted and very funny to Rossini's familiar and cheerful music.
A real "feel good" performance. Thank you and well done to all involved

Comment from Ted

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Ted said ago

A brilliant evening's entertainment. The production exploits to the full the comic potentialities of the opera - a sort of cross between Pagliacci and The Mikado! The recreation of the play within a play, and Rossini's gentle satire on operatic acting and music made the implausible plot believable while the music, singing and acting were all of the high standard we have come to expect of Opera North. In Alastair Miles the company has found a worthy successor to Richard Angas.

Comment from Country boy

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Country boy said ago

Thanks very much for the running time information. See you in October!

Comment from Country boy

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Country boy said ago

Running time would be useful

Opera North reply:

Hello, the estimated running time for this production is 3 hours, so it should finish at 10.15pm. Hope that helps!

Best wishes,

Opera North

Comment from Bronzestraw

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Bronzestraw said ago

Sad; I was going to book tickets but strongly object to additional charges. I will not pay a booking, debit card or any other additional fees that might be dreamed up.

Opera North comment:

Many thanks for your feedback. As we are a touring company, booking fees for tickets purchased online or by phone are set by the box offices at the different theatres where we perform, and may therefore vary by venue. Booking fees do not apply to tickets purchased in person at the box office of the venue you would like to attend.

We aim to display accurate details regarding booking fees for all of the venues we visit on the Opera North website as well as on the venue's website, to ensure that customers are well informed about any additional charges at all stages of the booking process.

We do hope that you may reconsider and join us for this performance.

Kind regards,

Opera North

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