Magazine article Opera Canada

Quebec City

Magazine article Opera Canada

Quebec City

Article excerpt

Opera de Quebec's May staging of Rossini's II barbiere di Siviglia was the company's first presentation of the opera in 15 years and came in the wake of the whirlwind of excitement created by director Morris Panych's original staging for Pacific Opera Victoria in Feb. 2016.

Dressed in colourful costumes merrily mismatching several centuries of fashion, the opera buffa characters moved in the strange and timeless set, a nice bit of confection by designer Ken MacDonald. At once sober and imaginative, all curves and spirals, it was enhanced by Kimberly Purtell's superb lighting.

There was great piquancy and clarity in the detailed conducting of Timothy Vernon, with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra in the pit. The judicious casting of General Director Gregoire Legendre featured several singers well-known to Quebec audiences and enjoying successful international careers. Argentinian baritone Armando Noguera, still remembered for his Papageno in OdeQ's Die Zaubeijiote several seasons ago, was here at one with the character of Figaro, winning over the audience from the first bars of the "Largo al factotum" and, for me, emerging as the star of the show. Creating a Rosina who was both cunning and naive, Julie Boulianne navigated the vocal demands of Rossini's score easily in terms of both register and coloratura--and with impeccable legato. …

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