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Il barbiere di Siviglia, Royal Opera | reviews, news & interviews

Il barbiere di Siviglia, Royal Opera

Il barbiere di Siviglia, Royal Opera

Unlike its athletic set, this revival fails to take flight

John Osborn and 25 of his closest friends perform an intimate midnight serenadeMike Hoban

Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia comes gift-wrapped in its own candy-striped box – packaging that sets the tone for the brittle, sugary entertainment within. Trading satire for slapstick, politics for aesthetics, and subversion for celebration, the production is generous in laughs but lingers scarcely longer in the mind than on the lips. With previous alumni including Mark Elder, Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez, there are some long shadows looming over the show’s hot-pink horizon, adding a not unwelcome sense of edginess to this latest revival – an edginess entirely absent from the production itself.

John Osborn's Almaviva suffers terminally from the simple ailment of not being Flórez

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