Grade 5 Opera: Performers Reflect on The Barber of Seville

Grade 5 Opera: The Barber of Seville

Our Grade 5 students took to the McPherson Playhouse stage for two fantastic performances of The Barber of Seville last week. 

Director Mr. Duncan Frater’s adaptation of the Rossini opera involved a lot of audience participation and was punctuated with a number of hilarious lines that were suitably delivered by the cast. It was an outstanding show that will live long and strong in the memories of our Grade 5 students. Congratulations to the cast, crew, volunteers, supporters and families that produced a great night of entertainment.

Student Reflections

Tell us about the opera and what part you played.

“I played Luigi for the opera. Luigi is one of Figaro’s helpers. I enjoyed being Luigi because he only has six lines and that is the right amount for me.” – Aaron

“The opera was a fun experience where you could showcase your singing and acting. I played Figaro, who was a barber in Seville.” – Cooper

“I was a lawyer and a dancer. Being a dancer meant that I was a tired soldier, a flash–mobbing villager and an annoying mouse.” – Will

“I played Dr. Bartolo, who was the main villain. My part was super hard because of my character’s personality. Dr. Bartolo is like a mix of hulk, an old guy and a doctor. He is so angry in the 2nd and 3rd acts and is a really complicated person.” – Elliot

The Barber of Seville is a love story about a rich Count named Almaviva who falls in love with Rosina. Her keeper, Dr. Bartolo, is not going to allow that to happen.” – Jacob

“The opera was placed in Italy, in the olden days. Figaro is the barber helping Count Almaviva try to win Rosina’s affection.” – Brody

What was the rehearsal process like?

“My favourite part was laying on my couch and eating sleeping pills a.k.a. tic tacs.” – Haven

“The last couple of rehearsals were fun because we got to use the costumes, microphones and makeup.” – Wil

“I liked the rehearsal at the theatre the most. It was really cool going from being in the audience last year, to being on stage this year.” – Oliver

“The rehearsal process was constant. My favourite part was trying new things and experimenting with my voice.” – Rupert

“The process was intense but fun. Something was always happening! I think Mr. Frater did a great job with getting everyone prepared for the opera.” – Caitlin

“The atmosphere. You could see everyone was kind of nervous but so excited; like the first time you go on a big roller coaster by yourself.” – Zachary

“What I liked most in rehearsal was putting on makeup. It was really cool and it was the first time actually putting on makeup.” – Jack

What were the performances like?

“The first performance was really exciting because it was opening night.” – Willow

“I felt like it was easy, partly because the audience was involved. However, at some parts it felt like there was no audience because I couldn’t see them.” – Jonathan

“The second performance was harder because some of the audience had already heard the jokes. So, it was harder to make them laugh.” – Julia

“The performances were awesome! I remember the curtains coming down the last time in slow motion, because I was savouring the last moments of the opera.” – Bianca

“It feels amazing to be in the spotlight and all you want to do is make people enjoy what you are presenting and shine.” – Cate

“The first night I was a little scared, but then the second night I was a little overconfident.” – Connor

What was your favourite part of being in the opera?

“Personally, I felt really cool when they called me to stage right, because there is a part of the opera where Mario and Luigi are the only ones called up.” – Roshan

“My favourite part was going up and saying my lines in the accent I had been practicing. I loved that voice and I didn’t care what my classmates said about it.” – Griffin

“Getting my haircut, because I made everyone laugh at me.” – Dheen

“My favourite part of being in the opera was seeing my fellow students shine.” – Will

“My favourite part was listening to the jokes because Mr. Frater made a lot of parts of The Barber of Seville humourous and funny. He’s pretty good at doing that kind of thing.” – Julian

“Being with my friends on stage and being able to show our personalities.” – Caitlyn

“Speaking! Because it would be boring if I did not have any lines.” – Chris

“My favourite thing about being in the opera was just how everyone was so supportive of each other.” – Maia

What was challenging for you about being in the opera?

“I used to have a bit of stage fright, but I overcame that challenge by actually getting up on stage and performing. I faced my fear and now I don’t have much stage fright anymore!” – Chelsea

“Getting into character and acting/talking like it. I overcame it by focusing really hard and acting like the opera actually happened to me.” – Avery

“Remembering my cues for entrances. I didn’t think I needed to practice a lot, but I was wrong. For a dress rehearsal, I missed my cue and it was sort of embarrassing. So, I would definitely recommend practicing cues carefully!” – Cameron

“It was hard to act consistently as another person you aren’t. I overcame this by giving it my all.” – Owen

“In the middle of the opera someone tried to trip me and my shoe fell off. I had to go on anyway as it was my line!” – Braxton

“The challenge for me was getting the parts, because of all the suspense.” – Lee

“I found fake talking challenging because I didn’t know what to fake talk about. I overcame this by fake talking to my dog.” – Asha

What advice would you give to the next Grade 5 students before they do an opera?

“To have fun even though it is stressful. Also, to buy a copy of the play, so they can look back on it when they’re older.” – Markus

“Be confident in your role! Even if you don’t get a main role it is okay, because you will end up loving it and the opera would not work without you.” – Charlie

“Remember to slow your words down. Also, if we could do it, so can you!” – Emily

“Don’t be scared, just try it!” – Addison

“There are no small parts… only small actors.” – Avery

“Try to get a big role. You might not want it at first, but it is fun.” – Harry

“Be passionate about your role, however big or small it may be. People remember the good actors, not the ones who had the most lines! Most of all, don’t talk offstage when your microphone is on! Break a leg Grade 5s of 2018/19!” – Deristhi

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