Opera Queensland is bringing musical magic and mayhem to 13 towns and cities across Queensland with The Adventures of Figaro, mixing the dazzling tunes from Rossini’s much-loved masterpiece The Barber of Seville with cabaret and vaudeville.
The new 90-minute adaptation, which opens in Toowoomba on 13 March 2015, stars Jason Barry-Smith as Figaro and a versatile cast of singers and musicians, while well-known actor Brian Probets makes his opera debut as the frazzled servant Fiorello – our unreliable narrator – amid a number of colourful characters.
Designed to fit into small venues, festivals, pop-up spaces and pubs, and sung in English, the show is adapted and directed by Opera Queensland’s Lindy Hume to a new musical arrangement by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Craig Allister Young.
The Adventures of Figaro’s versatile cast of eight play multiple characters and improvise comic scenarios that will see the action being played amid the audience at times, with plenty of surprises along the way.
Director Lindy Hume said she had approached Rossini’s work with irreverence and shamelessly exploited every Spanish cliché, from the bright orange design, to Manuel from Fawlty Towers’ accent, to Pedro Almodovar’s manic energy.
“Our completely un-precious approach to presenting this opera owes much to the hilariously chaotic premiere of the original Barber of Seville, in which everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and the diversity of the audiences and venues we’ll be playing across Queensland,” says Hume.
“I’m really excited to be directing this terrific cast in a pared-down, high-energy version of this fantastic musical comedy.”
In a special treat the show will also feature as part of the Gold Coast’s Bleach Festival on 14 and 15 March, taking over Fifth Avenue’s balconies, footpaths and facades and evoking the streets of Seville as part of Feast on Bleach on Saturday evening and as Opera at Paradise Point on Sunday evening.
“In this new production, audiences will see Jason Barry-Smith in fine form as Figaro who, having quit his servitude, has reinvented himself as a smooth-talking entrepreneur catering to his clients’ every need in fashion-conscious Seville,” said Hume.
“Joining him on stage will be Jaewoo Kim, Matthew Broadbent and Ashleigh Crane. I think audiences will delight in Figaro’s adventures and some of the most infectious, bubbly music ever written.”
For more information, including tour schedule, visit: www.operaq.com.au for details.
Image: courtesy of Opera Queensland