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Il Barbiere di Siviglia

About the opera

ACT I. Seville. At night, Count Almaviva brings a band of musicians to serenade Rosina, ward of Dr. Bartolo, who keeps the girl confined in his house. When Rosina fails to answer his song, the count pays the players, and they leave. At the sound of Figaro's voice, Almaviva steps away as the barber bounds in, boasting of his busy life as the neighborhood factotum. Figaro, though currently in Bartolo's employ, encounters Almaviva and promises to help him win Rosina - for a suitable reward. No sooner has Bartolo left the house to arrange his own marriage with Rosina than Almaviva launches into a second serenade, calling himself "Lindoro," a poor creature who can offer only love. Figaro suggests Almaviva disguise himself as a drunken soldier billeted to Bartolo's house.

Alone in the house, Rosina muses on the voice that has touched her heart and resolves to outwit Bartolo. Figaro joins her, but they leave on hearing footsteps. Bartolo enters with the music master, Don Basilio, who tells him Almaviva is a rival for Rosina's hand and advises slandering the nobleman's reputation. Bartolo agrees, but Figaro overhears them. Warning Rosina that Bartolo plans to marry her himself the very next day, the barber promises to deliver a note she has written to "Lindoro." Rosina, alone with Bartolo, undergoes an interrogation, then listens to his boast that he is far too clever to be tricked. Berta, the housekeeper, answers violent knocking at the door, returning with Almaviva disguised as a drunken soldier in search of lodging. While arguing with Bartolo, Almaviva manages to slip a love letter to Rosina. But when Bartolo demands to see the letter, the girl substitutes a laundry list. Figaro dashes in to warn that their hubbub has attracted a crowd. Police arrive to silence the disturbance. As an officer is about to arrest him, Almaviva whispers his identity and is released. Rosina, Berta, Bartolo and Basilio are stupefied by everything that is happening.

ACT II. Bartolo receives a young music teacher, "Don Alonso" (again Almaviva in disguise), who claims to be a substitute for the ailing Basilio. Rosina enters, recognizes her suitor and begins her singing lesson as Bartolo dozes in his chair. Figaro arrives to shave the doctor and manages to steal the key to the balcony window. Basilio now comes in, looking the picture of health; bribed by Almaviva, he feigns illness and departs. Figaro shaves Bartolo while Almaviva and Rosina plan their elopement that night. They are overheard by the doctor, who drives Figaro and Almaviva from the house and Rosina to her room, then sends again for Basilio. Berta, unnerved by all the confusion, complains she is going mad. Bartolo dispatches Basilio for a notary, then tricks Rosina into believing "Lindoro" is really a flunky of Almaviva. After a thunderstorm, Almaviva arrives with Figaro and climbs through a balcony window to abduct Rosina. At first the girl rebuffs "Lindoro," but when he explains that he and Almaviva are one and the same, she falls into his arms. Figaro urges haste, but before they can leave, their ladder is taken away. Basilio enters with the notary. Though summoned to wed Rosina and Bartolo, the official marries her instead to Almaviva, who bribes Basilio. Rushing in too late, Bartolo finds the lovers already wed. When Almaviva allows him to keep Rosina's dowry, the old man accepts the situation.


Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Davis, Rosina, a native of Northern Virginia, holds a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University, and a Master of Music from the University of Michigan. During graduate studies at the University of Michigan, she performed as Cecilia March in Adamo’s Little Women, Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, and Baba the Turk in Stravinksy’s The Rake’s Progress. In the fall of 2011, Sarah was seen as Angelina in La Cenerentola, with Bel Cantanti Opera Company. An active advocate of contemporary music, Sarah has premiered music for mezzo and piano, by acclaimed composers Vera Ivanova, Zachary Wadsworth, Michael-Thomas Foumai, and Shen Yiwen. In February 2010, she performed in the New York premiere of Jeremy Beck’s one-act contemporary opera Review (mezzo-soprano). In the summer of 2012, Sarah was a Young Artist with the Caramoor Bel Canto Opera program, where she covered Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. She was recently seen performing with the Staunton Music Festival in Staunton, Virginia, where she sang the US Premiere of Leaves from My Life, by renowned composer Vladmir Mendelssohn. Ms. Davis is equally at home in the world of oratorio, having performed solos in Durufle's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor, Handel's Dixit Dominus, and Vivaldi's Gloria. Sarah has studied with In Dal Choi, Carrie Stevens, and Melody Racine.

Colin Levin, Figaro. This season Colin will be appearing frequently as a concert artist in the New England area. Appearances will include his Jordan Hall debut as Manfred Lewin in the east coast professional premier of Jake Heggie's orchestral staged baritone song cycle with chorus For a Look or a Touch with the Boston Gay Men's Chorus, the principal soloist in the Holiday Pops Concert with Hillyer Festival Orchestra, the baritone soloist with the Pleasant Bay Camerata in Buxtehude's Ihr lieben Christen, freut euch nun, the Mozart Requiem with the Chatham Music Club, and Vaughan-William's Dona Nobis Pacem with the Chatham Chorale, as part of their Tercentennial Concert. He has spent the summer of 2012 in Virginia performing Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music and covering Le Dancaïre in Carmen, in addition to concerts, with the Castleton Festival.

Colin has appeared with Opera Boston (the cover to the title role in Hindemith's Cardillac, the Poet in the New Year's Eve production of Salieri's Prima la musica e poi le parole, in addition to covering in Fidelio and Donizetti's Maria Padilla, Winter Opera St. Louis (Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Betto di Signa in Gianni Schicchi, St. Petersburg Opera (FL) (Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music, Morales in Carmen, Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Bogdanovitch/Njegus (cover) in The Merry Widow, and Figaro in The Barber of St. Petersburg), the Brooklyn Academy of Music (L'ombre de Samuel in the North American professional stage premier of Charpentier's David et Jonathas with American Opera Theater, with additional performances in Washington D.C.), and the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song (IL) (Mr. Jenks/Top (cover) in Copland’s The Tenderland) Other performed opera roles include the Forester in Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Dandini in La Cenerentola, and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Kwang Kyu Lee, bass-baritone, Doctor Bartolo. "His voice seems ready for a significant operatic career...and he has a vocal power that one associates with much more mature basses." "He displayed a voice that seems destined for a major career...he already uses his big, tonally opulent voice with intelligence and subtle control." (The Washington Post). Dr. Lee’s major roles include Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the title role of Don Pasquale, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, Colline in La Bohème, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Sacristan in Tosca, Motano in Otello, and Sparafucile in Rigolleto with the Annapolis Opera, Opera in the Heights in Houston, the Summer Opera and Opera International, Bel Cantanti Opera, Maryland Opera Studio, the St. Barthelemy Music Festival, etc. He has also appeared in many oratorios and masses as a bass soloist with several companies: Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Dvorák’s Stabat mater with the Fairfax Choral Society; Bach’s Magnificat with the University of Maryland Chorus, and Cantata BWV 4, with The Bach Choral Society; Mozart’s Requiem with American University Choir; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the University of Maryland Chamber Choir; Saint-Saëns’ The Christmas Oratorio with The Frederic Choral Society. Recitals include a solo concert at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. sponsored by The Korean Embassy, and at Carnegie Hall in New York, Schumann’s Dichterliebe at the Art Club of Washington, D.C., and Schubert’s Winterreise. Mr. Lee won the Grand Prize at the Classical Singers Audcomps with the Audience Choice Award and the Annapolis Opera Competition; the second prize at the New Jersey State Opera International Vocal Competition and the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition; and the third prize at the Metropolitan Opera Regional Competition, the Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition, and The Connecticut Opera Vocal Competition. He has appeared in several productions at the Metropolitan Opera as a chorister. Mr. Lee holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Tenor Kyle Tomlin, Count Almaviva, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in 2008 from Penn State University where he studied with Jennifer Trost. In his time at Penn State, Mr. Tomlin performed the roles of Tamino in The Magic Flute, the title role in Albert Herring, and Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with the Penn State Opera Theatre. In 2011 Mr. Tomlin earned his Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan where he studied with George Shirley. While at the University of Michigan, he performed Nemorino in L'Elisir D'Amore and Le Chevalier Danois in Armide with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre. With the U of M graduate workshop, he sang the role of Tom Snout in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream and took part in the 6x8 project, a performance of new chamber operas with music and librettos written by University of Michigan students. Mr. Tomlin also performed the First Sailor in Dido and Aeneas with the Metropolitan Baroque Ensemble of Detroit. Last Summer, he attended the Pine Mountain Music Festival where he premiered the role of John in Jukka Linkola's new opera Rockland, which was commissioned by the festival. He was also an artist in residence at the Conductors Retreat at Medomak singing in their concert of Beethoven's 9th Symphony as the Tenor Soloist. Most recently he has performed with the National Chamber Players, the Cathedral Choral Society, and is a professional chorister at Historic Christ Church in Alexandria and the National Cathedral. Mr. Tomlin currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, where he teaches voice.

Andrew Adelsberger, bass-baritone, Don Basilio, has been praised for his natural comedic timing and is gaining notoriety for his charismatic performances. Recently, he appeared as Dr. Bartolo/Il barbiere di Siviglia with Ash Lawn Opera and as Don Magnifico/La Cenerentola with Bel Cantanti Opera. Andrew has performed with Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival as Spinelloccio/Gianni Schicchi and Mat of the Mint/The Beggar’s Opera. He has also performed with Chautauqua Opera as the Sacristan/Tosca and Mr. Kofner/The Consul. Andrew holds a Master of Music from the Maryland Opera Studio where he performed the roles of Don Alfonso/Così fan tutte and Gus O’Neil in the world premiere of John Musto’s Later the Same Evening. Other roles include, Antonio/Le nozze di Figaro, Sacristan/Tosca (Annapolis Opera), Betto/Gianni Schicchi (Bel Cantanti Opera), Nardo/La Finta Giardiniera, Elviro/Xerxes (Maryland Opera Studio) Dulcamara/L’elisir d’amore (Bel Cantanti Opera), Courchemin/Le Déserteur (Opera Lafayette, Community Performance). Concert credits include; Schubert’s Die Winterreise, Raphael and Adam/The Creation, as well as the bass solos in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Haydn’s Paukenmesse and Nelson Mass, and the Bruckner Te Deum. Andrew studies with renown Swiss basso-buffo, François Loup.

Sarah Heisler, Berta, soprano, began the 2012 season singing Yvette in La Rondine with the American Center for Puccini Studies and was next seen in the role of Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music with the Castleton Festival, where she also appeared in performances of Carmen, La Boheme, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel. Upcoming engagements include performances of Madama Butterfly with Hillhouse Opera. This fall she will travel to Oman to sing the chorus of La Boheme when the Castleton Festival and Maestro Maazel perform at Royal Opera House Muscat. Recent credits include the title role in Suor Angelica, Mimi in La Boheme, Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, covering La Princesse in L’enfant et les sortileges, the title role in Carmen, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte. She has spent three seasons with the Caramoor International Music Festival and holds a degree from James Madison University.

Connor Newlon, Fiorello, The Officer, baritone, from Charles Town, WV, sang the role of Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro for the 2012 Bel Cantanti/Catholic University Summer Opera Festival. Mr. Newlon has also sung the roles of Belcore in L’elisir d’Amore and Leporello in Don Giovanni with Repertory Opera Theater of Washington in 2011. He has also appeared as Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte and Dr. Frank in Die Fledermaus with Loudoun Lyric Opera. Mr. Newlon has frequently been featured as soloist with the Loudoun Chorale, where he has sung the solos in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Magnificat, and Mozart’s Vespers Solennes de Confessore. Mr. Newlon currently studies voice with Mr. Michael Forest.

Artistic Staff

Kathleen McGhee, Company Costumer, has worked in costume design and construction and costume shop management since 1991. Her costuming credits include over 90 productions across the theater, ballet and opera genres. In the Washington, DC area, her opera costume designs include eight produced for George Mason University Opera Theater, and over twenty produced for Bel Cantanti (since 2003). She works as an Associate Costume Designer for Washington Revels as well. Kathleen is also a pianist and harpist and holds an undergraduate and two graduate degrees in music.

Curtis E. Adamson, Assistant Director, Stage Manager, is an artist and arts administrator that has served in several roles at various organization. As a singer, Mr. Adamson has a "unique, full-bodied" sound that sets him apart from other young countertenors. This has given him the opportunity to do what he loves on a scholarly level for seven years and counting. Mr. Adamson's vocal versatility has been well showcased in both, traditional countertenor roles as Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Giulio Cesare, Tolomeo, and Sesto in Giulio Cesare; and those uncommon for the countertenor voice as Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflote, The Witch in Hansel und Gretel, La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica, and Florence Pike in Albert Herring. In July 2007, he was requested to appear as a featured supernumerary in Glimmerglass Festival’s production of Philip Glass’s Orphée. When not performing on the stage, Curtis can be found off the stage or behind the scenes. He has served as Dramaturg, Assistant Musical Director, Movement Specialist, House Manager, Titleist, and Stage Manager on projects and productions throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Adamson holds several degrees from Franklin Pierce University and Shenandoah Conservatory. He has most recently returned to Washington, DC from London, UK where he completed the Advanced Guildhall Arts Masters Programme (MMus & MPerf) at the famed Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Lois Dunlop, Wardrobe, began sewing when she was 9 years old. Lois has been the costumer for the Washington Revels since 2004. Besides working on the winter shows with full casts of 75 people, she has costumed company ensembles that have appeared at special events throughout the DC metropolitan area. She has also done some small props and set work for the Revels. Lois joined the Bel Cantanti costume staff for the March 2010 production of Carmen. She designed the costumes for the company’s production of L’Italiana in Algeria in March, 2011. In June, 2011 and 2012, Lois designed costumes for the performances at the Summer Opera Festival at Catholic University, which was sponsored by Bel Cantanti Opera and Catholic University of America. In addition to making theater costumes, she enjoys designing and sewing artistic wearable garments. One of her coats was pictured in “Threads” magazine. The online magazine “Modern Seamster” featured Lois and her twin sister in the article “Ultimate Fashion Statement? Tattoos of Course!”

Olga Shpitalna, Set and Light Designer. Olga Shpitalna has gotten passion for art from her genes. Since her kindergarten years she's been creating art nonstop. Olga has experience working in different fields but about eight years ago she dedicated all her time to art completely. She is a freelance artist, exhibiting in Washington DC area, Maryland and New York. She is also an official stage designer and decorator for different theatrical projects in Maryland and DC area, which she absolutely loves. Olga is an owner of an art studio "Blue Giraffe" in Washington DC.

Anna Engelsone, Supertitles. Anna Engelsone spends her days writing code, analyzing data and designing algorithms at JDA Software. She is grateful to Bel Cantanti Opera for an opportunity to set aside math and computer science for a while and indulge in her other passions -- music and languages. Anna has compiled and projected supertitles for La Cenerentola, The Impresario, Monsieur Choufleuri and Eugene Onegin.