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Burnaby Lyric Opera's Barber of Seville impresses

 February 26, 2018

A trip to the James Cowan Theatre at the Shadbolt Centre right now will probably be the most entertaining visit to the “Barber” you can make. 

Burnaby Lyric Opera’s current mounting of Rossini’s Barber of Seville features both good voices and good comedic acting.

Bass Michael McKinnon’s voice and verve never falter as the irascible and scheming Dr. Bartolo, who’s determined to win the charming heroine Rosina for himself. 

Tamar Simon, as the petite soprano with the powerful, agile voice, is just as determined to marry tenor Thomas Lamont, whom she thinks is poor student Lindoro, really Count Almaviva. Lamont has not only a strong, clear tenor, but a flair for comedy, switching to an irritating nasal whine as he impersonates a doctor.

Baritone Jason Cook as Figaro, the local barber, then comes in to organize all the resulting chaos.  Cook sings Figaro’s famous aria about his business and local importance excellently with appropriate brio.  Lauren Solomon, mezzo-soprano, as a pert maid and Brandon Thornhill, bass-baritone, as a singing teacher, easily match the high singing standards of the show

The magic of the production is aided by music director Angus Kellett’s musical accompaniment on the piano, which showcases the voices, and set designer Richard Berg’s minimalistic set, which allows for lots of stage action while still creating ambience, aided by the suitably elaborate costumes created by Gina McLellan-Morel.

Stage director Adam Da Ros never lets the action falter, as the whole charming musical farce comes to a satisfactory conclusion. 

image by Kaitlyn Hunter