Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts
By Henry C. Mayer

Have You Heard and Seen the Barber of Seville?

If you have not, you have missed something special. It is an integration of truly beautiful music and delightful comedy. Its composer, Goachino (Joachim) Rossini is a master in presenting both elements for your enjoyment.

It is a story with not one, but two male leads. There is the handsome and dashing young lover Count Almaviva who - as his name, Alma-viva, suggests - is a spirited young man. The other, believe it or not, is his barber, who is even more talented in devising intrigues and ruses than in providing tonsorial enhancement. Once you hear Figaro sing his own praises, you will agree there's nothing like it in music. This is a story for the young and the young in heart.

Of course, we will have easy-to-read subtitles so you can know more about what's going on, but this story really tells itself.

Kentucky Opera will offer you two opportunities to see and hear this masterpiece, which has been delighting persons of all ages for almost two centuries. The dates are Friday, February 5 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 7 at 2 p.m., both at the Whitney Theatre in the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Choice seats are still available but don't delay!

And that's not all!

Before the curtain, there will be not one, not two but three delightful "Lunch & Listen" gatherings at Vincenzo's. What better combination could you want - superb Italian cuisine and music as only an Italian like Rossini could write it?

Here are some interesting facts about this opera: Actually, The Barber of Seville is the first of two pieces of musical theater but the second one was performed first: Mozart's Marriage of Figaro! Actually, Mozart's work was delighting opera-goers before Rossini was born! It was staged to delight Viennese audience before it ever came to Italy, France or Spain! You see, its action takes place in Seville, its composer was an Italian and the original play's author was a Frenchman who had an exciting life besides his writings.

One more double tidbit: The character of Figaro has autobiographical features of both the dramatist Beaumarchais and the composer, Rossini. See if you can spot any of them!