COC Four Seasons is a gorgeous performance space, offering not only surface appeal but outstanding acoustics. The perfect venue to experience our first opera, the Barber of Seville.
The production itself had mixed reviews for sets, costumes and stage direction. If I were an experienced opera-goer I might have brought a more critical eye to the performance, but I was happy just to be there and take it all in. Our perch in the balcony had been upgraded for free to orchestra seating, so we had a great view of the stage and the comic events.
The Barber of Seville is 200 years old: young lovers scheming to be together and thwart the plans of the older, powerful male to dictate their destiny. Figaro, the Barber of Seville, comes to their aid and the pair are wed in a grand celebration for the opera's finale.
The stage was crowded with colourful players as they took their final bows.
The music is so familiar, having been the soundtrack to so many Saturday morning cartoons (Bugs Bunny in The Rabbit of Seville).
Some of my favourite operatic moments were when the three principal performers are each singing their own parts, clearly not listening to the others, voices rising, expressing entirely different points of view, tenor and soprano and baritone seemingly deaf to each other but harmonious at the same time.
The next day my ears are still hearing the music.
The COC has developed guides to help make opera more accessible:
COC Opera Study Guide
COC Listening Guide