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Utah Opera: The Barber of Seville

When Gioachino Rossini’s famous opera buffa (comic opera) The Barber of Seville premiered in 1861 in Rome under the title The Futile Precaution, it was a well-worn story to Italian theatergoers of the time, and had already achieved great success in earlier incarnations. In fact, there had been as many as three competing prior operatic versions, and another one or two that came after. Still, it’s Rossini’s version of The Barber of Seville—Utah Opera’s season finale—that has remained celebrated in the hearts of opera aficionados the world over. The story begins with Dr. Bartolo and his beautiful young ward, Rosina, whom he wishes to marry (not in small part due to her considerable dowry). Enter the doctor’s nemesis, the good Count Almaviva. He is also determined to take Rosina’s hand, and goes so far as to impersonate a poor young student named Lindoro (he doesn’t want her falling in love with him for the wrong reasons), a drunken soldier (in order to gain access to the doctor’s house by forcing him to billet) and finally a music tutor—all in hopes of getting close enough to spend quality time with the object of his affections. It is in this love’s pursuit that the original title, The Futile Precaution, in many ways makes more sense—especially when you realize that the main point of the tale is that no matter what the doctor tried to do to foil the attraction between the count and Rosina, nothing succeeded. Now, that is comic. (Jacob Stringer)

Date: May 13, 2013
Time: 7:30 pm
Phone: 801-355-2787
Address: 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Capitol Theatre