May 21, 2019


Rossini’s The Barber of Seville will open the 2019/20 Season  definitely a reason to rejoice!  That’s because this is musical comedy, pure and simple. If you love any of the great Broadway musical comedies, there really is no distance that you have to travel to enjoy Barber. The situations are hilarious, the characters captivating, and above all, the music will have you grinning from ear to ear, from the boisterous overture right through to the effervescent finale.

At Lyric you’ll hear a brilliant international cast. What’s wonderful about these artists is that they’re not only spectacularly accomplished singers  they’re also priceless comedians! Take Czech bass-baritone Adam Plachetka, who’s returning as Figaro, the always-resourceful title character. He’s already played Mozart’s Figaro at Lyric; Rossini’s version gives him even more opportunities to show his comic prowess! Adam, a huge favorite at the world-renowned Vienna State Opera, is one of the most endearing artists in opera today  he’s sure to have Lyric audiences eating out of his hand.

Figaro’s “partner in crime” in Barber is Count Almaviva, portrayed at Lyric by American tenor Lawrence Brownlee. He’s made his reputation internationally as one of the greatest Rossini interpreters of our time, and Almaviva is one of his signature roles. It gives him the chance to don two hilarious disguises  first, as a wildly boisterous drunken soldier and then as a milquetoast of a music master. It’s a joy to watch and hear Lawrence onstage in any role, but especially in one where he can have as much fun as he does here.

Playing the object of Almaviva’s affection, lovely Rosina, will be French mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, who captured every heart at Lyric with two portrayals: first, in trousers, singing her debut role, impish Stéphano in Romeo and Juliet, and then in ravishing feminine attire as an adorable Dorabella in Così fan tutte. Marianne has a truly effervescent stage personality, the perfect match for her beauty and her alluring voice!

Rosina’s guardian, old Dr. Bartolo, is Italian baritone Alessandro Corbelli, long regarded all over the world as the finest comic actor in Italian opera. He's returning to a production he premiered here in 2013/14, and is truly side-splittingly funny in this role, long one of his specialties. In his aria, you’ll hear him bursting forth with rapid-fire Rossinian patter. Even if you don’t understand Italian, he’ll reduce you to helpless laughter.

With the terrific young Polish bass Krzysztof Bączyk debuting as Don Basilio, Lyric’s celebrated music director Sir Andrew Davis on the podium, and Rob Ashford’s irresistible production, The Barber of Seville provides a jubilant start to Lyric’s 65th season!


Rossini’s music—the aural equivalent of champagne—is the last word in humor, inspiring smiles and laughter on every page of the score, which is what makes Barber the most popular of all operatic comedies.

Lyric production revival of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville generously made possible by

Abbott Fund

Liz Stiffel

Allan and Elaine Muchin

Header photo from Lyric's (2013/14) production of The Barber of Seville
Photo credit: Robert Kusel