It’s the Barber of Seville

Heritage Opera Barber of Seville
Heritage Opera Barber of Seville

An opera company born in Preston brings an enchanting new interpretation of Rossini’s classic, The Barber of Seville, to Lancaster tonight.

Heritage Opera was founded in Preston by Christopher Gill in 2006 but the company moved to Manchester in 2011 when he relocated down South.

Now they return with their new production of Rossini’s famous tale, written when he was a precocious 23 year old.

Set in 19th century Seville, the opera tells the story of Count Almaviva attempts to woo Rosina, coquettish ward of the elderly, possessive and grumpy Dr Bartolo, in a new English translation by Heritage’s Sarah Helsby Hughes.

But when the girl you love is locked up all day by her over-protective guardian, the Count enlists the help of the local ‘fixer’, a dodgy barber called Figaro and his madcap ideas to make romance happen.

Heritage Opera favourite tenor Nick Sales stars as the Count while mezzos Ailsa Mainwaring and Melanie Lodge share the role of Rosina.

Richard Woodall returns as her officious guardian while Stephen Holloway and Stephen Svanholm make their Heritage Opera debuts as Basilio and Figaro and stalwarts Matthew Palmer and Sarah Helsby Hughes are Fiorello and Berta.

All have experience both on the national and international stage – except Lancashire girl Alisa who makes her Heritage debut before returning to study at London’s prestigious Guildhall this autumn. And musical director Benjamin Cox plays keyboards with the Heritage Opera String Quartet.

Tickets for Lancaster Grand are £20 or £19 on 01524 64695.

The show also visits Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion on May 7.