Junior School Students Debut Opera

by Erin Anderson, editor

Our Grade 5 students took to the Royal Theatre stage for two performances of The Barber of Seville, a Rossini opera adapted for them by Mr. Duncan Frater. The comedic piece is vocally challenging, but the young cast proved up to the task as they portrayed the story of a count who surreptitiously woos a young woman while evading her guardian.

Count Almaviva, played by Donovan, dons many disguises in an effort to win the affection of the lovely Rosina, because he wants to know that she would love him even without his wealth and power. Rosina (played by Erin) is delighted with his advances, especially as she grows tired of her isolation under her keeper, Doctor Bartalo, who plans to marry her.

The Count recruits Figaro, the local barber and love guru, to help him in his quest for Rosina’s hand. Dr. Bartalo (played by Joshua) learns of the Count’s plans and tries to keep him away from his young ward, Rosina. His bumbling helper Fiorello (played by Andrew) and the intimidating music teacher Basilia (played by Sophie) try to help him, but are no match for the clever Figaro (played by Ricky).

The opera was presented in a shortened form (90 minutes) and in English, which were two ways it diverged from the original. Mr. Duncan Frater also added some dialogue to advance the plot and drop in some modern pop culture references, including Facebook and the SMUS Annual Fund. With powerful performances from the entire cast, from maids to policewomen to soldiers, the Junior School rendition of Seville was as astounding as it was enjoyable.

View rehearsal videos on SMUSTube.


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