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The Barber of Seville/ Glyndebourne

Mark my words: in Hera Hyasang Park a star is born.

The South Korean soprano played Rosina in The Barber of Seville at Glyndebourne last night.

Her voice was the model of clarity and tone; she could act; she looked winsome and delicate.

It was not just her suitor Count Almaviva and the ageing Dr Bartolo who fell in love with her but the audience too.

It was otherwise a sparkling production of Rossini’s masterpiece which he wrote in 2 months aged 23.

At the time the critics were not so sure. It was modelled on Beaumarchais play of which Piasello had already written the opera.

Rossini had to ask Piasello’s permission but in time both Rossini and Mozart in his Marriage of Figaro composed operas on the story of the machinations of the Count seeking the hand of Rosina the ward of Dr Bartolo who also coverts her.

Figaro (Levy Sekgapane) is the fixer: a barber and busybody.

I did feel that Sekgapane’s Figaro, so muscular and athletic, resembled more Manchester City’s latest £50m defensive signing than how I would imagine an Italianate meddling know-all barber but his voice was clear and melodic enough.

An opera buff I know and bumped into confessed how mush he was moved by Ms Park’s rendition of Una voce poco fa not least for her outstretched leg at its conclusion.

As ever the production values of Glyndebourne were high.

As ever they had to tinker with costume in modern dress but the set was attractive. Everything is professional, from the serving of the meal in the Long Interval to the organisation of collection by drivers.

It’s an elderly audience mainly in tuxedo and long gowns but younger members were more casually attired.

The only sadness for them was driving rain prevented any picnicking in the grounds.

It’s difficult to appreciate whether it’s a social outing or a must see for opera lovers, but either way I had a first rate evening and I’m sure I’m not the only one that ended up dreaming of Ms Park!

About Michael Stuart

After university, Michael spent twelve years working for MELODY MAKER before going freelance. He claims to keep doing it because it is all he knows. More Posts