The Barber of Seville

Gioachino Rossini

Head and shoulders ... opera's funniest comedy

9 15 17 22 27 30 June
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Book now

The Barber of Seville

Composer – Gioachino Rossini

Librettist –  Cesare Sterbini

Based on – Pierre Beaumarchais’s Le Barbier de Séville (1775)

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra


Based on the first of the Beaumarchais plays that revolve around the Almavivas and Figaro, Le Barbier de Séville, Rossini’s Barber, one of operas greatest masterpieces of comedy, will be conducted by Rossini specialist David Parry. Making their Grange debuts, Stephen Barlow and Andrew D Edwards reunite with Howard Hudson to follow their successful La Boheme, bringing sparkle, fun and finesse to an opera full of great tunes, exhilarating rhythms and electrifying ensembles. We are proud to have secured as good an international Rossini cast as can be desired. Marvel at the wit and inventiveness of the ever-resourceful Figaro in stage-managing the hilarious action and relish the delicious and infectious music.

Production Team
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David Parry


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Stephen Barlow


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Andrew D Edwards


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Howard Hudson


David Parry is acknowledged as an inspirational champion of operatic, concert and symphonic repertoire across a vast range. He is known both for the re-appraisal of important lesser-known compositions and for a consistently fresh approach to established repertoire.
Significant credits include the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio (in separate productions for Opera North and Staatstheater Stuttgart), Der Fliegender Holländer (for Portland Opera), Madama Butterfly (in Anthony Minghella’s production for ENO which earned him an Olivier Award), Così fan tutte and the premiere of Dove’s Flight (both for Glyndebourne Festival Opera) and Maria Stuarda (for Stockholm Royal Opera).
Much in demand from ensembles both in the UK and further afield, David Parry is regularly at the helm of orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham, Halle, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and English Chamber Orchestra.
He has an extensive discography for Chandos and Opera Rara. His recording of Rossini Ermione won a Gramophone Award for best opera 2011.

Stephen was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia and has staged productions for many of the world’s leading opera companies including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Glyndebourne Festival and Opéra Monte Carlo.

His recent work as a Director includes new productions of Così Fan Tutte Central City Opera, Colorado, Madama Butterfly Danish National Opera, Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi Hong Kong, Rigoletto Lyric Opera Chicago & Bucharest National Opera, Tosca Santa Fe Opera and Carmen Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Stephen has had a  longstanding relationship with London’s Opera Holland Park where he has staged La Bohème, Flight, Tosca, Hänsel und Gretel, Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, La Fanciulla del West, Cavalleria Rusticana & I Pagliacci, and the European premiere of Fantastic Mr Fox.

Other productions include La Cour de Célimène Wexford Festival, Madama Butterfly Mid-­Wales Opera, La bohème British Youth Opera, La Traviata Singapore Lyric Opera, Dovetales Glyndebourne Jerwood Studio, Alfonso und Estrella University College Opera and Trial by Jury Covent Garden Festival. Stephen is also a regular director at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he has staged Dialogues des Carmélites, L’enfant Prodigue, Francesca di Foix, Le Donne Curiose, La Navarraise, Portrait de Manon and Comedy on the Bridge. Also Die Zauberflöte for the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Stephen recently returned from Australia where he directed Les Deux Enfants – a unique coupling of two French operas: Debussy’s L’enfant prodique and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. His future engagements include Flight Scottish Opera and Roméo et Juliette Estonian National Opera.  Stephen will also be staging a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera in Oslo next year.

Opera credits include: COSÌ FAN TUTTE (Central City Opera); LA BOHÉME (Opera Holland Park).

Recent Theatre credits include: DRY POWDER,  LABYRINTH and DONNYS BRAIN (Hampstead Theatre); APRÈS LA PLUIE (Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier, Comedie Française, Paris); 31 HOURS (Bunker Theatre); FACK JU GÖHTE (Werk 7, Munich, Stage Entertainment); WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (Theatre by the Lake); PLAQUES AND TANGLES and WHO CARES (Royal Court); ROMEO AND JULIET (Shakespeare’s Globe and World Tour); AS YOU LIKE IT (Shakespeare’s Globe); MISS JULIE/BLACK COMEDY, RUNNING WILD, THE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS, BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS, PLAYHOUSE CREATURES and FRED’S DINER (Chichester Festival Theatre); IMPOSSIBLE (West End & International Tour); FIVE FINGER EXERCISE and THE DUMB WAITER (Print Room); THE LIFE AND TIMES OF FANNY HILL (Bristol Old Vic); LES PARENTS TERRIBLES (Donmar Season at Trafalgar Studios); BACKBEAT (West End/Toronto/Los Angeles); A VOYAGE AROUND MY FATHER (Salisbury Playhouse); and MEASURE FOR MEASURE (Theatre Royal Plymouth/UK Tour).

Forthcoming and current work includes: GASLIGHT (ATG UK Tour); ECHO’S END
(Salisbury Playhouse); ON THE TOWN (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); CRAZY
UK Theatre Credits includes: IN THE HEIGHTS (King’s Cross Theatre); NIGHT
MUST FALL (Original Theatre Company & Salisbury Playhouse, UK Tour); PETER
AND THE STARCATCHER (Royal & Derngate, Northampton); ALADDIN (Qdos
Entertainment); RAGTIME; TITANIC (Charing Cross Theatre); THE RIVALS
(Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman & Citizen’s, Glasgow); CRAZY FOR YOU
(Watermill Theatre); ROMEO & JULIET (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company,
Garrick, West End); TELL ME ON A SUNDAY (Watermill Theatre & UK Tour);
(Salisbury Playhouse); BEYOND THE FENCE (Arts Theatre); THE SMALLEST
SHOW ON EARTH (Mercury Colchester & UK Tour); OLIVER!; THE SECRET
(Leicester Curve); EACH HIS OWN WILDERNESS (Orange Tree Theatre); SIDE
(Bargehouse & Shoreditch Town Hall); PRIVATE PEACEFUL (Tobacco Factory,
Bristol); TORO TORO (Northcott Exeter & UK Tour); THE MISER (Theatre Royal
Windsor & UK Tour); TABOO (Brixton Club House).
International theatre credits include: GASLIGHT (Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto);
TITANIC (Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto); DEATH AND THE MAIDEN;
(Operetta Theatre, Bucharest); LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (Bermuda
Festival of Performing Arts); CORNELIUS (59E59 Theatre, New York); LA CAGE
AUX FOLLES (Aarhus Teater, Denmark).
Opera & Dance credits include: LA BOHÉME; DIE FLEDERMAUS (Opera Holland
(English National Ballet); EGLE THE QUEEN OF SERPENTS (Lithuania National
Opera & Ballet, Choreo: George Williamson); ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN
(Opera Holland Park); FIDELIO & VERT VERT (Garsington); ARIANNA IN CRETE
(Royal College of Music).
Awards and Nominations: Winner of 2014 Off West End Award for Best Lighting
Designer (TITANIC & LIZZIE SIDDAL); Winner of 2012 Off West End Award for
Best Lighting Designer (MACK AND MABEL); Winner of 2011 Off West End Award
for Best Lighting Designer.

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John Irvin


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Jose Maria Lo Monaco


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Charles Rice


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David Soar


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Riccardo Novaro


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Jennifer Rhys-Davies


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Toby Girling


Originally a pianist, John Irvin studied singing at Boston University’s Opera Institute. He was a member of the Young Artist Program of the Lyric Opera Chicago, where his roles included Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, Percy in Anna Bolena, Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Rodrigo in Verdi’s Otello.

In 2016, his career took off rapidly. He made his debut at the Salzburg Festival with The Exterminating Angel, sang Berlioz’s Lélio at the Beethoven Festival Bonn, Berlioz’s Requiem with the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and Roméo in Roméo et Juliette at Madison Opera. In 2017, he received international attention for a Méhul gala concert with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and made his debut as Cléomène in Le siège de Corinthe at the Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro, where he also appeared in a “Three Rossini Tenors” gala concert.

Engagements of the 2017/18 season include his debut at the Metropolitan Opera (The Exterminating Angel), Faust in La damnation de Faust in Nantes, as well as Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Johannespassion under the baton of Raphaël Pichon.

One of the most promising mezzo of her generation, José Maria Lo Monaco made her debut at the Rossini Opera Festival Accademy in Pesaro as Melibea in Viaggio a Reims in 2005 and debuted at Teatro La Scala in Dido and Aeneas. She took part in Le Comte Ory in 2014/2015 season with Juan Diego Florez.

She debuted at the Opéra de Paris and Salzburg Festival with Riccardo Muti and recently played Carmen at the Opéra National de Lyon staged by Olivier Py, dir Stefano Montanari, awarded “production of the year” by Mezzo television! She performed La Cenerentola in 2015 in Rennes in the historical production of Jerome Savary and in 2016 in Rome Opera. She will sing Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Opéra de Losanna with Ottavio Dantone in a new production of Robert Carsen; Serse, title role, Barcelona and Madrid with J.C.Spinosì; Werther, Charlotte, in Bologna with Michele Mariotti; Norma, Adalgisa, in Opera Royal de Wallonie ;  La Cenerentola, title role, in Florence and Santiago; Carmen, title role, in Sidney.

Current and future engagements of Anglo-French baritone Charles Rice include ROBERT CECIL Gloriana Teatro Real, SIMONSO IVANOVICH Risurrezione, RIGOLETTO Rigoletto Wexford Festival Opera, Eugene Onegin (title role) Angers Nantes Opéra, DEMETRIUS A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Japan, ALBERT La Juive and ARTHUR KOESTLER Benjamin, dernière nuit (world premiere) and PROCOLO Viva la Mamma Opéra de Lyon, MARCELLO La bohème Opera Theatre Company Dublin, HERMANN Les Contes d’Hoffmann Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and SILVIO I Pagliacci Opéra de Toulon.

Most recent engagements include ESCAMILLO Carmen Stadttheater Klagenfurt and Vorarlberger Landestheater, MUSIKLEHRER/HARLEKIN Ariadne auf Naxos Opéra de Toulon, SID Albert Herring English Touring Opera, SOLOIST HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pigtale Mahogany Opera Group tour (Linbury Studio, Bregenz Festival, Norfolk, and Norwich Festival), ALCHEMIST/INQUISITOR/SENOR/SULTAN ACHMET Candide Opéra National de Lorraine, NED KEENE Peter Grimes Aldeburgh Festival.

Charles studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio. He was a finalist at Les Azuriales Young Artists Competition 2009 in France and winner of the Garsington Prize 2009.

David Soar studied at the RAM and subsequently at the NOS.

Highlights on the opera stage include Masetto Don Giovanni and Colline La bohème at the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Masetto, Escamillo Carmen, Collatinus The Rape of Lucretia and Mr Flint Billy Budd for Glyndebourne; Le Duc Roméo et Juliette at the Salzburg Festival; Mr Flint and Raleigh Gloriana at the Teatro Real in Madrid; Zuniga Carmen and Quinault Adriana Lecouvreur at Covent Garden and Basilio The Barber of Seville for the English National Opera. His many roles for the Welsh National Opera include Leporello Don Giovanni, Figaro Le nozze di Figaro, Escamillo, Sparafucile Rigoletto, and Ferrando Il Trovatore.

His concert repertoire ranges from Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Passions to Verdi’s Requiem and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and his appearances include the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms with Sir Andrew Davis, The English Concert with Bicket, the AAM with Egarr, Orchestre des Champs Elysées with Herreweghe, the Hallé Orchestra with Elder, the SCO with Ticciati and the Philharmonia Orchestra with Salonen.

Italian Baritone, Riccardo Novaro is an internationally sought-after baritone for Belcanto repertoire. Specialized in the Mozartian and Rossinian repertoire, he earned his reputation singing Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées and Il Conte Le Nozze di Figaro at the Opéra National de Bordeaux. Having gained an international reputation for his vocal agility, Riccardo performs successfully Malatesta Don Pasquale at Garsington Festival Opera, Belcore L’elisir D’amore at the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and Dulcamara, from the same opera, in La Monnaie, Brussels. Recent and forthcoming engagements include Conte Robinson Il Matrimonio Segreto at Opéra National de Lorraine, Strasbourg, a new production of L’Incoronazione di Dario at the Teatro Regio di Torino, his debuts as Leporello Don Giovanni at the Opéra de Lausanne, and the title role Don Giovanni at the Teatro dell’Arte in Milan.

A regular guest at Teatro alla Scala, Lincoln Center, London Barbican Center, Opéra National de Paris … Riccardo Novaro collaborates with numerous conductors such as Emmanuelle Haïm, Ivan Ficher, Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Jennifer Rhys-Davies has performed with major opera houses in the UK and Europe where her roles have included Donna Anna, Donna Elvira, Konstanze Die Entfürung auf dem Serail, The Queen of the Night and First Lady Die Zauberflöte, Lucia, Semiramide, and Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw.  She made her debut with the Royal Opera House in 1993 as Berta Il barbiere di Siviglia, and has since sung Amaltea Moise in Egitte, Clorinda La Cenerentola, Marianne Der Rosenkavalier, Anna Nabucco, Widow Babette’s Feast and Mrs Julian Owen Wingrave.  Most recent roles include Elisabetta Maria Stuarda, Kostelnicka Jenufa (ETO), Lady Billows Albert Herring (Salzburger Landestheater/ETO), Hilda Mack Elegy for Young Lovers, Duenna Der Rosenkavalier (ENO), Guadalena in Offenbach’s La Pericole (Garsington), and Berta Il Barbiere di Siviglia (ENO/ROH/Lille/Limoges/Caen/Reims/Dijon).  In summer 2017, she made her BBC Proms debut as Susanna Khovanshchina with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Semyon Bychkov.


Toby Girling’s current and future engagements include MORALES Carmen The Grange Festival NICOMEDES Der König Kandaules and PALLANTE Agrippina De Vlaamse Opera, BELCORE L’elisir d’amore Scottish Opera, ANGELO Das Liebesverbot Chelsea Opera Group at Cadogan Hall, and SAM Trouble in Tahiti with Oper Leipzig (on tour in Bolzano), Wexford Festival and Gran Canaria.

Recent engagements include EVANGELIST/WATCHFUL/FIRST SHEPHERD Pilgrim’s Progress English

National Opera, MASETTO Don Giovanni, RUGGERO La Juive (Peter Konwitschny), Mozart’s Mass in

C minor, a staged version of Winterreise and JUNKMAN/HERMANN AUGUSTUS Candide Vlaamse

Opera Antwerp, TOP in Copeland’s The Tenderland Opéra de Lyon, MARCELLO La Bohème and

MORALES Carmen Neville Holt, GUGLIELMO Così fan tutte English Touring Opera, and IL

CHIRURGO/ALCADE La Forza del Destino Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. For the

Glyndebourne Opera Festival Chorus, he sang ARTHUR JONES and covered DONALD Billy Budd in the Michael Grandage production.

Toby is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Act One

Outside Dr Bartolo’s house, a group of musicians, with the disguised Count Almaviva, serenade Rosina. Rosina, the ward of Bartolo, offers no answer to the musicians’ serenade, the count pays them off and sends them away. Figaro, enters singing about being the city’s factotum. Almaviva asks Figaro for help to win over Rosina. Bartolo leaves the house with plans to marry Rosina. Almaviva serenades Rosina again, telling her his name is Lindoro and that love is all he has to offer. Figaro suggests that Almaviva disguise himself as a poor drunken soldier ordered to stay with Bartolo. Almaviva is so delighted with the plan, he pays Figaro generously.


Inside Bartolo’s house, Rosina taken with Lindoro’s song, sings about the voice she has just heard. She writes a letter to Lindoro, while secretly planning a way to escape from Bartolo. Moments later, Figaro joins her, but the two quickly leave at the sound of footsteps.


Bartolo arrives with Don Basilio, a music tutor. Basilio tells Bartolo that Almaviva competes with him to win the hand of Rosina, and that Bartolo must slander Almaviva’s name. Figaro overhears that Bartolo plans to marry Rosina the following day, and persuades her to give him the letter she has written to Lindoro so that he can deliver it. Alone with Bartolo, Rosina is questioned and reminded that Bartolo is unable to be tricked. Midway through his interrogation, they are interrupted by the sound of vigorous knocking on the door. Berta, Bartolo’s maid, answers the door to find Almaviva as the drunken soldier. She brings him up to Bartolo. As the two men argue, Almaviva manages to pass a letter to Rosina, whispering to her that he is Lindoro. Bartolo sees this and demands Rosina hand him the letter. She complies, but gives him her laundry list instead. Figaro rushes into the room, warning them that their incessant arguing has attracted a crowd, and that authorities are on their way to settle the dispute. Bartolo, Berta, and Basilio take pleasure in watching the authorities take the disguised Almaviva away from the house. Before he is escorted to jail, they are quickly amazed when he is released without any fuss. Almaviva only had to whisper his identity to them before they complied with letting him go.

Act Two

Disguised as the substitute music teacher of Don Basilio, Almaviva arrives to tutor Rosina. Bartolo is hesitant at first to let him in, but after Almaviva shows him Rosina’s letter to Lindoro, Bartolo invites him in. Almaviva tells Bartolo that he plans to discredit Lindoro, as he thinks he is a servant to and doing the bidding for Count Almaviva. When Almaviva enters the room, Rosina instantly recognises him as her suitor and the two begin their lesson. Figaro arrives to give Bartolo his scheduled shave and takes him to another room, stealing a key to the balcony along the way, leaving Almaviva and Rosina alone. Don Basilio shows up looking much better, but is quickly turned away when Almaviva bribes him.


Almaviva and Rosina discuss their plans to elope, but are overheard by Bartolo. He immediately pushes Figaro and Almaviva out of the house and sends Rosina to her room. Bartolo, then, calls for Basilio. Berta is in a faff from all the confusion. Bartolo convinces Rosina that Lindoro is just a henchman of Count Almaviva. Later that evening after a large thunderstorm, Almaviva dressed as his true self arrives with Figaro. The two men climb up to the balcony and unlock Rosina’s door. As they begin to abduct Rosina, she initially protests. After Almaviva explains that he has been in disguise as Lindoro the whole time, she quickly falls for him. As they start to leave the house, Basilio arrives with a notary intending to marry Rosina and Bartolo. After another bribe, Basilio allows the notary to marry Almaviva and Rosina instead. Once the marriage is officiated, Bartolo arrives. Almaviva makes a deal with Bartolo that allows Bartolo to keep the dowry, and Rosina and Almaviva remain together without any objections.