Il Barbiere di Siviglia



photos courtesy of IU Opera Theater

IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA by Gioacchino Rossini, based on the play by Beaumarchais
Conductor: Arthur Fagan
Cast: S. Hogsed, N. Fitzer, A. Kloc, T. Florio, C. Medina, C. Peden
Production: C. D. Higgins (scenery & clothes), P. Mero (lighting)

“Nicholas Muni, made his debut as stage director at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a super-sized new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. As is usual with Muni, he offered a concept loaded with fresh interpretations. Most appreciated was the removal of 150 years of “traditional” encrustations, both musical and staging gimmicks. A turntable supported three spaces — outside Bartolo’s house, inside Bartolo’s house and, surprise, inside Figaro’s establishment. Figaro’s establishment not only purveyed wigs and hair products but was a cozy, bed-dominated hideaway complete with a bevy of beauties. Muni kept the comedy rollicking with a sure hand in one of his best productions. The street outside Bartolo’s was a basic Sevillian alley, but inside a secret laboratory was cleverly concealed in a side wall, emerging when needed to facilitate the action. In this Barbiere, Bartolo was a kind of mad scientist struggling to reconcile scientific discoveries with the tenets of the Church. There were plenty of electricity sight gags, particularly the Act II finale, when Ambrogio got a hold of the electric controller and shocked soldiers and the entire cast into a reeling explosion of choreographed confusion. Contradictions in each character were exploited to great comic effect. For “Don Alonso’s” music lesson there was no harpsichord — but the left wall, on its own turntable, swung open to reveal a huge pipe-organ. More elegance followed throughout the evening, with a careful balance between the comic and the serious.
Charles Parsons, Opera News  (December, 2010)

The IU Opera Theater opened its 2010-11 season with a delightful and thought-provoking production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia that’s sure to have audiences talking for weeks to come. The new sets and costumes vividly present the dramatic contrast between the stark, grey vacancy of Doctor Bartolo’s mechanically ordered house and the wildly colorful abandon of Figaro’s shop. Both the sets and costumes are at the service of stage director Nicholas Muni’s desire to pit the chaotic modern features of Rossini’s tale of an independent businessman and the young lovers who triumph over conservative forces of entrenched commercial and social arrangements.
George Walker, Music and Arts (September, 2010)

© 2013 Nic Muni | Stage Director | Artistic Direction | Teaching | Dramaturgy | Design | Site by RC