|Photos are from the Washington Opera production|
in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia
|Rossini's (1792-1868) popular work contains some of opera's most tuneful and recognizable music - from its lively overture to Figaro's Largo al factotum to Rosina's Una voce poco fa. Based on the play of the same title by the French dramatist Beaumarchais (1732-1799), the opera is a delightful rigmarole of riotous situations in a race to win the hand of the young Rosina.
It is a role Vivica Genaux has performed many times in her rising career to rave reviews - most recently at the Metropolitan Opera where she made a surprise debut last December 17. She sang the role for five performances altogether, including that aired live on the Texaco Metropolitan Opera Saturday Broadcast. This MET debut proved her mettle, as it happened under rather difficult circumstances. She was summoned by the MET on a late Monday evening to substitute for an ailing Vaselina Kasarova, the Bulgarian mezzo-soprano (who interestingly got her lucky break a few years ago by substituting for an indisposed Marilyn Horne at a Salzburg festival concert) slated to make her MET debut as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia the following Wednesday evening. No time for a full stage or orchestral rehearsal, all she got in the way of preparation was a production walk-through, some coaching by the music staff, and moral support from the rest of the cast. Enough to turn anyone's legs into Jello! But not Vivica - she proved to be a real trouper and a professional. By all accounts her performance was memorable and impressive. And those who tuned in to her Texaco broadcast debut heard a delightfully spirited, confident Rosina and surely must have noticed the warm ovation she received from the audience. After this winning debut, one can only expect this young mezzo's star to rise even higher.*
Vivica sang Rosina at her debuts with the Washington Opera (at the Kennedy Center), L'Opera Montreal, Opera Pacific and Dayton Opera and will sing the role at the San Diego Opera January 24, 27, 30, Feb 1 and 4.
*Some debuts can be disastrous, though winningly so - as the account of JerryHadley's at the NY City Opera shows..
Making of Conquistador
|Il Barbiere||VIVICA GENAUX