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The Barber of Seville - Oxford New Theatre

By Yanelle Cruz

Count Almaviva has fallen in love with Dr Bartolo’s ward Rosina, but her guardian has other ideas and wants to keep her for himself. Almaviva enlists the help of local barber, Figaro, to outwit his plan, and through a series of comical events and deception Figaro takes on the role of matchmaker. Will he save the day and true love prevail? Welsh National Opera’s much-loved production of The Barber of Seville – set around a traditional Spanish piazza – partners wonderfully with Rossini’s witty and expressive melodies. With an unforgettable score including Figaro’s Aria, this is the perfect feel-good opera.

I have always been an avid theater-goer, I love seeing plays, musicals, operas, concerts, etc. One of the many pandemic challenges for me was the loss of live theater because it has always been an experience that brings me joy and I try to see as many live shows as I can. Now that we can safely return to live shows, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to see the Welsh National Opera’s The Barber of Seville at the New Theater Oxford. My friend and I arrived at the theater with some time to enjoy a drink and we were pleasantly surprised to have wonderful seats!

Once the show began, I knew we were in for a treat. The stage design caught my eye as soon as we walked in and soon after I began to notice other details like the costumes, the props, and the light design. Of course, the most impressive element is the talent of the performers. I am always in awe of live theater performers who seamlessly perform each show, and this was no exception. Each role had a unique vocal element and altogether it delivered a delightful show. Additionally, The Barber of Seville is a comedy, and I did find myself laughing at various moments because the comedic elements are very well done. I would be remiss to not mention the orchestra which complemented the actors beautifully and I found myself at times just watching the conductor because that can be a show within itself as well.

The show received a well-deserved standing ovation and we left the theater in a great mood after having seen a wonderful opera. The Barber of Seville certainly left me waiting for my next opera, which I hope comes sooner rather than later!


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