In its seventeen seasons, Cleveland’s enterprising Opera Circle has produced many titles by Bellini, Verdi, Donizetti and Mozart, and has taken on a rare work by Szymanowski, but some stones remain unturned. “We’ve never done Rossini and we wanted to do a comedy for a change”, said executive director and soprano Dorota Sobieska. The obvious choice was Barber of Seville, which will open on Friday, February 22 at 7:30 pm at the Bohemian National Hall in Cleveland with the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra led by Robert Cronquist. A second performance will be on Sunday the 24th at 3:00.
“We have a very strong cast for the opera”, Sobieska said in a phone conversation. Two of those singers, bass Timothy J. Bruno (Don Basilio, right) and tenor Matthew Miles (Count Almaviva, center), are especially well prepared for Barber, having sung in Opera Western Reserve’s one-night production last November at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown, a performance headlined by Lawrence Brownlee, one of the great bel canto tenors of our time. [Read more…]