Magazine article Opera Canada

Cooperstown

Magazine article Opera Canada

Cooperstown

Article excerpt

Glimmerglass Opera has long been a showcase for Canadian talent, and the home team of tenor John Tessier, baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson and director Leon Major all scored triumphs in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia (Aug. 4). In fact, Major's bit of whimsy was a breath of fresh air and one of the best-directed Barbers I've seen.

The opera premiered in 1816, and David Roberts' fetching period costumes reflected that era. Set designer John Conklin created adorable, pop-up rooms that slid on and off the stage like a movable doll house. Together, they formed a pretty picture for Major's shenanigans. For example, Figaro (Nicholson) spouted off a fast run of Italian with no accompanying surtitles, only to run to the front of the stage and look up at the empty screen. He got his big laugh when the English words finally flashed by at a rapid clip. And the silent role of the ancient servant, Ambrogio (actor Steven Walker), was turned into a running joke as he tenaciously followed his harassed master, Dr. Bartolo (Argentinean bass-baritone Eduardo Chama), with a cup of coffee throughout the opera. …

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