Stage Door News

Toronto: The Canadian Opera Company presents “The Barber of Seville” January 19-February 7, 2020

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

In the city of Seville, fast-talking Figaro is everyone’s go-to guy. This barber cuts hair, trims beards, and – given the chance – will even help land you the love of your life. But it’s two artists at the top of their game who take centre stage in this colourful production of Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville: Italian-Canadian mezzo soprano Emily D’Angelo makes her COC role debut as the lovely Rosina while Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci leads the COC Orchestra through eight fun-filled performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on January 19, 22, 25, 30, February 1, 2, 4, 7, 2020.

In this wildly popular comic opera, Rosina has lost both her parents but inherited a fortune. That’s made her an obvious target for her controlling older guardian, Bartolo, who’s angling to marry her for money. Young Count Almaviva actually loves Rosina for who she is, but to get past Bartolo and win her heart, he’ll need help from Figaro. Catchy, familiar music and cheerful costumes, paired with laugh-out-loud jokes, makes The Barber of Seville the perfect escape from Canadian winter and an excellent first experience for both new and young audiences.

Argentina’s Santiago Ballerini brings his “focused, exciting tenor” (Wall Street Journal) to the role of Count Almaviva opposite acclaimed Italian baritone Vito Priante as Figaro; both artists make their COC debuts. For Emily D’Angelo, singing Rosina at the Canadian Opera Companymarks a full-circle moment for the fast-rising opera star – the Ensemble Studio graduate has performed the role at the Glimmerglass Festival, but first sang one of the character’s famous arias in auditions for the COC’s prestigious training program. Italian baritone Renato Girolamireprises the role of Bartolo, which he sang at the COC in 2015, and American bass-baritone Brandon Cedel returns to Toronto as the cunning Don Basilio.  

The Barber of Seville also features three current COC Ensemble Studio artists, offering the emerging young singers invaluable mainstage experience as part of their professional development. Mezzo-soprano Simona Genga sings the role of Berta, and bass-baritones Joel Allison and Vartan Gabrielian are Fiorello and the Officer, respectively.

Spanish director Joan Font is the founding member of the Els Comediants theatre troupe and leads this lively production. Joan Guillén has created bright, asymmetrical backdrops and larger-than-life costumes that play up the comedy unfolding onstage. Eye-popping lighting was designed by Albert Faura and exaggerated choreography is by Xevi Dorca

Juilliard-trained conductor Speranza Scappucci is “one of classical music's brightest stars” (Opera News) and makes a much-anticipated COC debut with The Barber of SevilleShe will lead the COC Orchestra through Rossini’s playful score, jam-packed with some of the most memorable melodies in all of opera with Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leading the COC Chorus.

The Barber of Seville is sung in Italian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

The Barber of Seville is a COC co-production with Houston Grand Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Opera Australia.


Single tickets for The Barber of Seville range from $35 – $250 with Grand Ring seats available at $290 and $350. Tickets are on sale now, available online at, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.). $22 tickets are available for guests between the ages of 16 and 29 through the COC’s Opera Under 30 program and other specially priced tickets are available to young people under the age of 15. For more information on booking student groups, standing room, and rush tickets, please visit

Photo: Renato Girolami as Doctor Bartolo and Joshua Hopkins as Figaro in the COC's 2015 production of The Barber of Seville. © 2015 Michael Cooper.