28th September – 2nd November.
Thanks to its enormous success in 2013, the Nederlandse Reisopera presents a revival of Rossini’s comic opera Il barbiere di Siviglia, directed by Laurence Dale and with a cast that includes Karin Strobos (Rosina), Mark Milhofer (Almaviva) and Brun Praticò (Bartolo). George Petrou is the musical director, conducting the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra with colourful Gaudi-style decors and spectacular costumes by designer Gary McCann
Back in 2013, the cast and staging of this sparkly opera buffa were enthusiastically received by both the press and audiences. Trouw gave it five stars: ‘A vibrant and humorous experience in a brightly-coloured crescendo.’ NRC wrote: ‘The phenomenal versatile Mark Milhofer (Almaviva) is a rare example of a light tenor, a tenore leggero, and he delivers an amazing spoof of the dope-smoking singer Koos Koets.’ De Telegraaf wrote: ‘Karin Strobos is a one-in-a-million Rosina.’
Nearly the entire cast from 2013 is returning for this revival. Joining them are baritones Germán Olvera (Figaro) and Pablo Aranday (Fiorello/An official), and soprano Caroline Cartens (as one of the three Bertas).
Count Almaviva is head-over-heels in love with the young Rosina. She loves him too, but her guardian Bartolo wants to marry her so he can get his hands on a sizeable dowry. After the usual comic twists and turns, the two lovers end up together thanks to the cunning Figaro’s resourcefulness.
‘This is more than slapstick’
Six years after the initial success of The Barber of Seville, director Laurence Dale is back with the Touring Opera for a revival. The 2013 staging will of course remain largely identical, with its three Bertas, a pregnant Rosina, Figaro racing around on a scooter, and Count Almaviva as a popular singer dressed in white, who is constantly giving out autographed CDs to his fans. But Dale says that this revived Barber will not be an exact copy of the one from 2013. He promises a new experience. ‘There’s nothing worse than a mindless replay.’ Dale isn’t afraid to make changes to a production that both the press and audiences were crazy about in 2013. It’s the only way, says the director. ‘Six years have passed. Everyone is bringing in new experiences: me, the singers who were in the previous production, the new cast members. So, it will certainly be different, but I also think it will be better. If it had been two weeks rather than six years, I would have done it differently.’
About the team and the cast
George Petrou was also a guest conductor with the Touring Opera in 2018, as music director of the Baroque opera Siroe, King of Persia. In this Barbiere he will play the pianoforte as well as conduct.
The famous Almaviva aria, Cessa di più resistere, at the end of the second act is left out in many productions of the opera because it is so difficult and demanding for the tenor. In Dale’s production this aria will be performed by the British tenor Mark Milhofer, who will sing the full role of Count Almaviva.
Listen to ArtsTalk Radio’s interview with Nederlandse Reisopera’s director Nicolas Mansfield
The Barber of Seville by Gioacchino Rossini can be seen at
Enschede (28 Sept + 2 Oct),
Arnhem (5 Oct),
Leeuwarden (9 Oct),
Maastricht (12 Oct),
Apeldoorn (15 Oct),
Zwolle (18 Oct),
Rotterdam (20 Oct),
The Hague (23 Oct),
Utrecht (25 Oct)
Amsterdam (31 Oct + 2 Nov).