There’s a lot going on up on the Hill this summer, as the Seagle Music Colony Celebrates it’s 100th anniversary.
The Colony on Charley Hill Road is having a bonza season, with it’s remaining two shows, Into The Woods and Les Miserable, SOLD OUT!!!
And the performances so far have been stellar. Special correspondent Ann-Breen Metcalfe, who never misses a show, has filed this report on SMC’s production of the opera, The Barber of Seville.
By Ann Breen-Melcalfe
Gioachino Rossini must have had Seagle Music Colony in mind when he wrote The Barber of Seville. He needed a cast of youthful, good-looking singers with superb voices. He needed accompanists with the talent and loving enthusiasm of Richard Williams, ably assisted by Eric Frei. And he needed Joshua Borths as stage director, who saw the opera as a fast-moving whirlwind of humor and action.
Seagle Music Colony’s production had all of that, and Rossini would have been proud. We were sorry to miss the performances with Tevyn Hill, Andrew Simpson, Raphella Medina, Michael Miller and Nathaniel Mattingly in the leading roles. But we rejoiced in seeing two shows with the alternate cast, and loved every minute of them.
Tenor Paul Kroeger was a handsome Count Almaviva who sang “Ecco, ridente in Cielo” with sweet ardor, despite the loutish appearance of his backup band. He was trying to woo Rosina, the ward of the grasping Dr. Bartolo, who wanted Rosina for himself. The opera’s twists and turns centered on this trio, and it took the clever Barber of Seville to set everything right.
Kyle White was a wily Figaro, the opera world’s most famous fixer. His muscular “Largo al factotum” set the scene. After that he was all over the stage and indeed the theatre, appearing at just the right moments and signaling to the audience and his fellow conspirators that he knew how to solve every problem.
The lovely Tascha Anderson was Rosina, who knew her own mind and did not see the churlish Dr. Bartolo as part of her future. Her “Una voce poco fa” was excellent and was perhaps especially appreciated by those who had also heard her sing Bach at an earlier Vespers concert.
Ryan Stoll was a perfect Dr. Bartolo, so self-assured but dim that he was perpetually one step behind everyone else in figuring out what was going on.
The scheming Dr. Basilio was played by Eric McConnell. He brought a fine bass-baritone to “La Calunnia," persuading Dr. Bartolo that destroying someone’s reputation is an excellent way to advance one’s own interests.
Joshua Borths gave memorable pre-performance talks, making the point that Rossini’s bel canto arias are very difficult to sing. They show off the singers’ skills, thus it was all the more impressive that these young singers delivered their arias beautifully and acted persuasively at the same time. Both the principals and supporting cast members — Mason Jarboe, Jennifer Jaroslavsky, Blake Jennings and Dylan Elza — worked hard at delivering superb performances, and made it all look easy.