A hot day in Seville or “opera rocks!”

Sevilla Summer 1979

Sevilla Summer 1979

We had a special treat yesterday: G got us in to see the dress rehearsal of Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia (Barber of Seville). Technically, this is still part of rehearsal process, but it’s the last run through before the premiere. It looks like a real performance with the only difference that the orchestra and conductor wear ‘normal’ clothes.

Fellow blogger and the Rosina of this cast wrote about getting to know a piece that one thinks one knows inside out during the rehearsal time. Natually, I was very curious to see what they had come up with.

Changing details might sound trivial, but it does make the world of a difference – if you have heard the work hundreds of times over xyz amount of years. It’s the same with sun sets, or great food: if it would always look/taste the same, we wouldn’t get the beauty anymore. Our simple brains just get used to this as new standard. But if one changes something (like discovering a new colour in the sky or adding a new flavour to a dish)  suddenly it’s new and interesting again.

Of course things such as suddenly hearing the third horn for the first time (like I recently did in Wagner’s Rheingold – I had never heard it there before and I’ve ‘only’ known the piece for 20 years)  doesn’t change the world’s problems, but discovering (or re-discovering) the beauty of music can give us strength to do our part in making the word a better place.

But back to Rossini:  even though it was a very hot day  in London, everyone was on fire from the first to the last note. There were amazing new colours from the orchestra and singers, outstanding singing  and terrific acting. People laughed about jokes as if they saw Barbiere for the first time ever. We got our ears, eyes and hearts opened.  Thank you for this experience!

PS Should you be curious to see it for yourself – if you’re in London on 15th July, it’s going to be transmitted to the big screen in Covent Garden market – don’t miss it!


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