El Barbero de Sevilla
The rarely-performed zarzuela “El Barbero de Sevilla” features a chamber orchestra arrangement by Music Director Pablo Zinger, and is staged by award-winning director Rod Gómez.
New Camerata Opera presents El barbero de Sevilla in conjunction with Latin American Theater Experiment Associates (LATEA), a performing arts theater company that has been a Latinx staple in New York City for over 30 years. This zarzuela by Gerónimo Giménez and Manuel Nieto, with libretto by Miguel de Palacios and Guillermo Perrín, debuted in Madrid in 1901. It is a farcical comedy referencing Rossini’s opera of the same name, in which a young woman’s singing ambitions are thwarted by her family. El barbero de Sevilla features a score by two of zarzuela’s greatest masters.
New Camerata Opera’s production has “much to offer to all musical theater and opera devotees, particularly in this bilingual production featuring Spanish singing and English dialogue,” says music director Pablo Zinger, who also created the chamber arrangement for NCO’s production. Zinger, heralded as the “King of Zarzuela” by Opera News, has collaborated with renowned performers, and has established himself in New York and around the world in his storied 40-year career as an authority on and advocate for zarzuela. “I am very happy to participate in New Camerata Opera’s upcoming production of El barbero de Sevilla, a chamber-like musical and theatrical jewel of a comedy,” says Zinger. “With a history dating back to 1640, modern zarzuela, the quintessential form of Hispanic musical theater, has been absent from NYC stages far too long!”
Award-winning director Rod Gomez (National Opera Association Prize, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Bronx Opera) directs this lively farce in an intimate staging. “Finding inspiration in the source material, Rossini’s own Il barbiere di Siviglia,” says Gomez, “I am fashioning this production with an eye to modern audiences. With an emphasis on its zany and wacky qualities, it promises to be a madcap evening of sparkling comedy combined with the unique, wonderful music that can only be zarzuela!”
The cast features Anna Tonna (Roldán), María Brea (Elena), Caroline Tye (Casimira), José Luis Maldonado (Martín), Jay Lucas Chacon (Benito), Stan Lacy (Nicolás), Brian J Alvarado (Pérez), and Victor Khodadad (López). In addition, an evening of Flamenco and tapas will be offered following the performance on Saturday, October 19, immersing the audience in a unique celebration of Spanish heritage and Latinx culture.
New Camerata Opera is a New York City-based cooperative company in its fourth season. Its mission is to engage, excite, and educate through immersive performances that break down barriers and inspire fans of the future. In addition to mainstage productions, it offers children’s operas through Camerata Piccola, and produces short operatic films with CamerataWorks.