Virginia Opera Lights-up the Season with Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville

Richmond, Norfolk, Fairfax, VA (October 14, 2016)

Virginia Opera presents its second production of the 2016-2017 Season with The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini in Norfolk, Richmond and Fairfax from November 11 through December 4, 2016. 

The exact performance schedule and venue locations are listed below.  

Thanks to Bugs Bunny, a cartoon watching generation became happily familiar with one of the most popular works in the operatic repertoire.  Looney Tunes’ version of The Barber of Seville, demonstrated to a generation it was really OK to laugh at opera. Whether those excerpts enticed you to continue to explore other operatic possibilities, one at least came away recognizing and even singing along with Rossini’s slapstick masterpiece.  Virginia Opera’s production strives to reunite members of all generations with the universally appealing opera, Giuseppe Verdi called “the most beautiful comic opera in existence.” 

Virginia Opera’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Adam Turner, stated “The Barber of Seville is a staple of the repertory and is considered one of the “top 10” operas.  Virginia Opera has not presented this comic masterpiece in many years and this title complemented the rest of the chosen season repertory very well.  In an effort to attract new audiences, this is the perfect opera for a first-time opera attendee.”

The set by Shoko Kambara and costumes by Amanda Seymour are from Opera Philadelphia and deliver a palette of vivid whimsy and modern edge.  Stage Director, Michael Shell (The Magic Flute 2013) returns to offer hilarious twists to the rollicking storyline.  Conductor John Baril, Music Director of Central City Opera, will provide secure musical guidance from the pit for a vibrant young cast and The Virginia Symphony Orchestra. 

In the title baritone role of Figaro, Virginia Beach native Will Liverman, makes his Virginia Opera debut.  Mr. Liverman attended the prestigious Governor’s School for the Arts in Hampton Roads and since then made an impressive impact singing with such important opera companies as English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera and Santa Fe Opera.  Former Virginia Opera Herndon Foundation Emerging Artists, mezzo-soprano Megan Marino and tenor Andrew Owens sing the roles of the lovers, Rosina and Count Almaviva.  Ms. Marino makes her Metropolitan Opera debut this season in Dvorak’s Rusalka.  Mr. Owens is a frequent performer with Seattle Opera, Caramoor Summer Music Festival, and The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.   Ms. Marino and Mr. Owens reunite in this production of The Barber of Seville after having recently performed the roles for Florida Grand Opera.  Bass-baritone and Richmond, VA native, Matthew Burns returns to Virginia Opera in the role of the flustered Dr. Bartolo and bass-baritone Christopher Job returns to Virginia Opera to perform the role of Rosina’s scheming music tutor, Don Basilio.

Virginia Opera President and CEO, Russell Allen, advises that “Virginia Opera is fortunate to be able to offer the high level of quality in production and performance that it does.  Also, it is wonderful to see native Virginians in our casts, and in Barber we have two.  It’s great to celebrate our home-grown talent.”

If your familiarity with The Barber of Seville begins and ends with the cartoon version, this Virginia Opera production welcomes you and the more seasoned audience member with laughs, love, and lyricism.

This Virginia Opera production of The Barber of Seville will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Performances across the state at the following venues:  

The Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House – Norfolk – November 11, 13 & 15, 2016 
The Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Arts Center – Richmond – November 18 & 20, 2016 
George Mason University’s Center for the Arts – Fairfax – December 3 & 4, 2016

About Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera Association, Inc., in its 42nd season, is known and respected nationwide for the identification and presentation of the finest young artists, for the musical and dramatic integrity of its productions, and for the ingenuity and variety of its education and outreach programs.  Mainstage performances in three markets across the Commonwealth reach nearly 50,000 attendees annually.  In March of 1994, by unanimous vote of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Opera was named The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia in recognition of the organization’s contribution to the state as well as to the world of opera.  For tickets and information visit or call 866.673.7282.  

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