|The Barber of Seville | July 14 – August 21|
by Pierre Beaumarchais
translated by Elizabeth Griffith
directed by Matthew Arbour
|Sponsored by||Susan and Bruce Burleigh|
Count Almaviva has fallen in love with Rosine, but she’s been locked in the house by her guardian, who has his own matrimonial plans for her. What’s a Count to do? Fortunately, the crafty Figaro is on hand to help sort everything out—or maybe to complicate it further! Lush, lively, and a little bit naughty, Beaumarchais’ comic romp is chock full of hilarious misunderstandings, disguises, and sumptuous period costumes.
|Thursday, July 14, 7:30 p.m. (Preview)|
|Friday, July 15, 7:30 p.m. (Opening)|
|Saturday, July 23, 7:30 p.m.|
|Sunday, July 31, 7:00 p.m. (Post Show Discussion)|
|Tuesday, August 2, 7:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, August 3, 1:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday, August 10, 7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, August 13, 7:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday, August 16, 1:00 p.m.|
|Thursday, August 18, 7:30 p.m.|
|Sunday, August 21, 1:00 p.m.|
|Bill Van Horn
| Lucas Calzada
| Chris White
| Mark Cartier
| Joe Mariani
| Isabella Etro
From the Director
Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! Fiiiigaro!”
My first impressions of Beaumarchais and his signature creation, Figaro, were formed long ago listening to an LP of Rossini’s 1816 opera of The Barber of Seville. To this day, I vividly recall the vivacity of Pavarotti’s rendition of Figaro’s famous, self-introductory aria as well as finally getting what that Bugs Bunny cartoon had been all about.
When I turned then to the original play, first performed in Paris in 1775, what I found took me by surprise. Rossini had prepared me for the broadly comic plot, the complications of young people illicitly in love, and the triumphant resolution brought about against all odds, in the tradition of commedia dell’arte and later Molière, by a wily servant. But not at all for the wily servant I met there. Charming yet boldly insolent, the Figaro of Beaumarchais’ play felt to me immediately modern and somehow intrinsically American.
Like Beaumarchais himself was, Figaro is an unapologetically self-made man. He’s crafty and witty and daring, yes, but, unlike his theatrical forebears, he seems genetically incapable of accepting his own lower status. He meets the world with zest, irony and a determination to forge his own fate with his own two hands. At once a scoundrel and a hero, he seizes opportunities, he takes liberties.
And liberty lies at the heart of the play. Figaro’s impulse to freedom—his cheerful, impudent compulsion to make what he can of and for himself in the face of a structured aristocracy and its arbitrary authority—renders him the magnetic and enduring character he is. He reflects Beaumarchais’ enthusiasm for the rising democracy in the American colonies across the Atlantic and his sensitivity to the coming revolution in France. Across three plays, he remains Beaumarchais’ lasting contribution to French theater and culture. On stage in 1775, the future is coming and he is Figaro.