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A View from the Cliff: Regina Opera offers “The Barber of Seville”

“Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!”

For two hundred years, the most recognized operatic comedy is still Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” To continue celebrating its 45th season, the Regina Opera Company presents this musical masterpiece with popular “Carmen” to follow in May.

Conductor Dmitry Glivinskiy is outstanding with his seamless orchestral leadership. As expected, the strings, woodwinds and percussion dominate the many complex sections with professional skill. In fact, Maestro Scott Jackson Wiley can be seen in the orchestra pit as he moves from guitar to French horn.

At Saturday afternoon’s performance, the story’s mistaken identities, thinly veiled disguises and tangled but true love scenes create the intended lighthearted results. Clearly, modern television and movie screens have borrowed from the wit and wisdom of the “Barber.”

Behind the scenes, tireless Producer Francine Garber-Cohen and Stage Director/Set Designer Linda Lehr consistently combine the finest performers with visually pleasing costumes (Julia Cornely) and colorful sets.

As Figaro, the clever barber himself, Miloslav Antonov is a great baritone and a very funny actor. His humorous facial expressions are a joy to watch. His comical charisma continues throughout the entire performance.

Equally amusing is Sungwook Kim as Count Almaviva. His sarcastic smirks, marvelous mannerisms and fine tenor voice are a perfect complement to the storyline.

Stunning Rosina, played by mezzo soprano Perri Sussman, is eminently appealing as the amorous object of the count’s affection. Her reactions to the multitude of contradictory events that swirl around her are all very well-received.

Deep-voiced basses Dr. Bartolo (Peter Ludwig) and Don Basilio (Jonathan Dauermann) are both excellent as comical foils. Paradoxically, they are both victims and antagonists in their battles against Figaro, the count and Rosina. Well done, one and all!

Supporting players (Gene Howard, Elena Sandella, Alfonso Barragues and Thomas Geib) and countless offstage staff bring another strong performance to the season. Remember, supertitles scrolling overhead provide instant translation, which makes the plotline much easier to follow.

The company currently performs at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sixth Avenue at 60th Street. For information on this and future productions, call 718-259-2772, surf to www.ReginaOpera.org, follow them on Twitter @ReginaOperaCo or like them on Facebook. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.

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