The director Jonathan Miller shook the cobwebs out of this mainstay in the opera repertory in 1987 and it comes up smiling every time. This is its 13th revival – and there are not many productions that stand the test of time so well that they clock up double figures.
The lovely soprano Sarah Tynan plays Rosina, the young ward jealously guarded by her doddering guardian Dr Bartolo, in Rossini's operatic version of the original Beaumarchais comedy. Bartolo this time is sung by ENO favourite Alan Opie, and in the title role as the resourceful barber-surgeon Figaro is the Australian baritone Morgan Pearse.
It is Figaro who finds ways of sneaking the amorous Count Almaviva (disguised as a poor student, of course) into Rosina's household and heart. Mexican tenor Eleazar Rodriguez makes his ENO debut as Almaviva. Look out for the hilarious music lesson, in which the count poses as a singing teacher and Figaro does all he can to distract the old man.
Unlike its disastrous premiere at Teatro Argentina in Rome in 1816, this Barber of Seville is a tried-and-tested hit, and one for all the family.
The Barber of Seville is sung in English, with English surtitles. A pre-performance talk (18 Oct, 6PM) costs £5, with concessions. Public booking opens at 10am, 24 May
|What||The Barber of Seville, English National Opera|
|Where||English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
05 Oct 17 – 30 Oct 17, Times vary; 9 performances
|Price||£12 - £125|
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|