October 01, 2019

4-Star, “Wickedly Funny” BARBER Opens

On Saturday, September 28, Wacker Drive was THE place to be for music lovers. The red carpet was unfurled, photographers lined the colonnade, and palpable excitement was in the air as Lyric opened the 65th Season with an original production of The Barber of Seville that thrilled critic and audience members alike. 

The Barber of Seville is only here for six more performances through October 27 – here’s just a sample of the rave reviews!

Wickedly funny, elegantly sung, cleverly directed. ★★★★ (out of four)

- Chicago Tribune

“By the final, rollicking chorus celebrating the triumph of young love, hearts were soaring, both onstage and in the audience.”
- Chicago Sun-Times

"You don’t often hear opera audiences laughing out loud – constantly and with abandon – as they did."
- Chicago Tribune


"Lyric Opera’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville… is a real keeper… this wholly delightful Barber gets the company’s season off on a leaping high note."
- Chicago Classical Review


"Benefiting from an outstanding cast of international vocalists...the performance was a winner...four-star worthy."
- Third Coast Review

“Seeing and hearing it is a must.”
- New City


“Lyric’s fine vocalists threw themselves into Rossini’s fiercely steep, fiendishly intricate melodies with brio.”
- Chicago Sun-Times


"An inspired cast of singers who proved equally gifted at comedy."
- Chicago Classical Review

On The Artists

"This “Barber” has a Figaro of ample voice and hilarious gesture.... Plachetka managed to produce a resplendent timbre while oozing the charisma and guile that make Figaro so alluring a character."

- Chicago Tribune

"Mezzo soprano Marianne Crebassa commanded attention.... hers is a sound that’s easy to get lost in, its lusciousness impossible to resist."
- Chicago Tribune


Brownlee sailed through wave after wave of treacherous Rossini ornaments like a surfer in the zone.”
- Chicago Sun-Times

“Their voices raced up and down, twisting, swooping, starting, stopping.”
- Chicago Sun-Times on Crebassa & Brownlee


"Lyric music director Andrew Davis... drew nimble work from the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the latter under chorus master Michael Black."
- Chicago Tribune

On The Production

"Scott Pask’s elegant set design, Catherine Zuber’s vivid costumes and Howard Harrison’s evocative lighting design gave the cast an appealing environment in which to work."
- Chicago Tribune

“Designer Scott Pask’s grand, malleable set is one of the delightful characters in the piece….Catherine Zuber’s costumes add to the fun.”
- New City


Join us for Lyric’s loveable, laughable season opener and find out why it’s been one of music’s favorite romantic comedies for more than 200 years. Learn more and view our behind-the-scenes videos here.


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

Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg