Opera San José’s, The Barber of Seville

[Reviewed by Gloria Balderas]

Last weekend, Opera San José unveiled its production of The Barber of Seville. I attended the afternoon performance on Sunday, February 13th. Conductor Bryan Nies opened with the familiar overture…that is, familiar to opera experts as a classic masterpiece and to opera apprentices as a background to classic cartoons. However familiar one may be with the piece, it was a sincere joy to hear in person.

As most of us are aware, an opera just isn’t an opera without romance, drama, and scheming and conniving characters. The Barber of Seville has all of these elements along with a whole lot of humor and silliness (e.g., hypnotism by way of a carrot or the intentionally poor mimicking of playing a musical instrument). It was all quite entertaining.

All of the performers were very engaging and memorable in their own ways. The wit and charm seemed to come natural for Adam Meza as Figaro, the local barber and jack of all trades who offers to help bring Count Almaviva (Chester Pidduck) to his beloved Rosina (the vocally impressive Cathleen Candia). Scene-stealers included Kindra Scharich as Berta and Paul Murray as the quirky Basilio.

Overall, I had a delightful experience watching the The Barber of Seville and I would encourage others to catch one of the remaining performances, which continues this weekend until Sunday, February 27, 2011. Click here to learn more about Opera San José, or here to purchase tickets for an upcoming show.

Gloria Balderas is an editor with Synchronized Chaos Magazine and may be reached at globalderas@gmail.com for questions or comments.