Florida Grand Opera presents Rossini’s The Barber of Seville

From Feb 20th through Mar 6th, 2010.

Rossini’s beloved opera, The Barber of Seville, continues Florida Grand Opera’s season in February and March with a delightful cast of artists. Although composed 30 years after Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is based on the first of the Beaumarchais plays and introduces us to dashing Count Almaviva, the lovely Rosina, and the resourceful Figaro. The Barber of Seville is considered one of the greatest comic operas ever composed and is among the best-loved and most frequently performed operas in the world.

English baritone Roderick Williams will make both his Florida Grand Opera and American debut as Figaro, Seville’s famous barber. Williams has become widely known throughout the UK and Europe for his opera performances and recitals, and his Figaro in Rossini’s opera and his Count in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro are highly regarded.

Soprano Sarah Coburn returns to Florida Grand Opera to sing Rosina, following her spectacular FGO concert last season with Bryn Terfel, and her performances of Kitty in FGO’s 2007 world premiere of Anna Karenina. In May 2009, Ms. Coburn received the Washington National Opera’s 2009 Artist of the Year award. The award was announced by Maestro Plácido Domingo at the annual Board of Trustees dinner on April 24. Maestro Domingo praised Sarah, who made her WNO debut in the company’s 2008 production of Tamerlano, in which she played Asteria opposite Maestro Domingo’s Bajazet.

Canadian tenor Frédéric Antoun returns to FGO to sing Count Almaviva. Of his Don Ramiro in last season’s La Cenerentola, Lawrence A. Johnson wrote in the Miami Herald, “…Frédéric Antoun was superb across the board. The Canadian tenor’s easy regal bearing was just right for the nonstuffy Ramiro, playing off Dandini’s antics deftly and, most importantly, displaying the requisite high Rossini voice. Antoun blended gracefully with Boulianne in their duets and delivered the stratospheric goods in the Act 2 showpiece, “Si ritrovarla io guiro,” with clarion top C’s.”

Making his Florida Grand Opera debut in the role of Bartolo is bass-baritone Bruno Praticò, who has become one of the world’s leading interpreters of the role. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Sulpice in La fille du regiment in 1994 and has appeared regularly at La Scala in Milan. He has an extensive discography of recordings to his credit, including the roles of Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love, and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. His portrayal of Bartolo in The Barber of Seville for Los Angeles Opera in December, 2009, received extensive critical acclaim.

Three new cast members join The Barber of Seville production for the February 24 and 27 performances. Baritone Kyle Pfortmiller, who will take the role of Figaro, was recently seen as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte with New York City Opera, and as Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with the Lake George Opera Festival. He made his FGO debut earlier this season as Silvio in Pagliacci. Mr. Pfortmiller will also perform the March 4 & 6 performances in Fort Lauderdale.

Tenor Andrew Bidlack will perform the role of Count Almaviva. A former member of FGO’s Young Artist Studio, he is enjoying a highly successful career with leading opera companies. At San Francisco Opera, where he was a Merola Opera Program participant and later an Adler Fellow, he has upcoming performances of Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio and Ruiz in Il Trovatore.

Bidlack and Pfortmiller will be joined by soprano Lielle Berman who will sing the role of Rosina. She is a former member of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago where she performed and covered numerous roles. She recently made her New York City Opera debut as Cunégonde in Candide,

Gary Thor Wedow, who made his FGO debut in the 2008 production of Giulio Cesare in Egitto, returns to conduct The Barber of Seville. This American conductor has a long association with New York City Opera, and has conducted for companies including San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Tokyo’s New National Theater, Glimmerglass Opera, the Juilliard Opera Center, Manhattan School of Music, Wolf Trap Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company.

Performances will take place from February 20th through 28th at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and on March 4th and 6th at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Florida Grand Opera

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