* Notes *
The Merola Opera Program's Il barbiere di Siviglia (Act II, Scene 5 with Renée Rapier, Daniel Curran, Peixin Chen, Mark Diamond, and John Maynard pictured left; photograph by Kristen Loken) returned with a second cast on Friday night. The orchestra, conducted by Mark Morash, sounded more comfortable this time around. Again, this group of singers was vocally strong. As a whole, the movements were understated and the acting was not overblown. Marina Boudart Harris (Berta) sang "Il vecchiotto cerca moglie" mournfully. Peixin Chen impressed as Don Basilio, his voice is full and almost bottomless. His "La Calunnia" was robust. John Maynard's Dr. Bartolo was amusingly imprudent and conniving. Maynard sang smoothly and with ease.
Mark Diamond made for a gallant Figaro, and sang with a certain lightness, yet had good volume. Daniel Curran had trouble at the end of Almaviva's first aria, but recovered nicely. Curran's voice has a pingy warmth and much power. Our mezzo-soprano Rosina, Renée Rapier, bubbled and sparkled, but also has a pretty darkness in her low notes.
* Tattling *
There some whispering during the performance, but no obvious electronic noise. Someone's crutch fell during Act I, house right on the orchestra level, near the front.