Opera buffa in two acts
Music Director: Eri Klas
Stage Director: Elijah Moshinsky
Set and Costume: Anne Tilby
Lighting Designer: Sergey Skornetsky
Stage choirmaster: Yulia Senyukova
Choirmaster: Maria Chekrkchieva
Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes with one intermission
Premiered on 31 October 2008
Recommended for 6+
Sung in Italian with Russian surtitles
Rossini’s operatic masterpiece The Barber of Seville has been staged all over the world, and even children recognize Figaro’s famous aria, while Figaro qua, Figaro là and La calunnia è un venticello have become bywords.
The witty Rossini, being not only an outstanding composer but also a brilliant cook, developed the recipe for the opera’s incessant, astounding success. Here it is: take seven bright characters and an intoxicating love intrigue, spice the mixture with humorous dialogues, dress with wonderful melodies and sprinkle virtuosic ensembles on top. Rossini’s masterpiece has been cooked by the Novaya Opera’s Chef, Maestro Eri Klas, accomplished English stage director Elijah Moshinsky and topnotch English designer Anne Tilby, specially invited for the occasion.
Moshinsky has set "The Barber" in what he calls "a vague 1920s."
"I wanted to find a naïve time," he said, "<…> My setting isn't real, of course, but the characters have to be real."
<…> "Every word has to be known and felt, and the recitatives have to sparkle." To that end, his work with the cast at Novaya Opera began with the text. "That is how we always start in England," he said.
<…> "From what I've seen of opera here," he said, "there is a tendency to overdemonstrate, to try very hard to express. I believe I've gotten my singers to lighten up and given them a bit of English style." In order to maintain that style, Moshinsky has trained them to say to themselves "Life is good" before making an entrance on stage.
<…>"You have to learn to connect with the music," he said, "and then to direct with it, which is a completely different technique from what is used in spoken drama. The first thing I do is to analyze the text and the music and try to find their inner structure and inner meaning. In communicating that, I want the audience to be filled with a joy that comes from the music. At the same time, I don't want them to be aware of the director. His hand should remain invisible."
The Moscow Times
October 31, 2008