When the audience is laughing uproariously and applauding before the overture ends — especially when there’s steady rain falling beyond on the open hall — you know you’ve got a hit on your hands.

Well, that’s true if it’s a comedy, which the Santa Fe Opera’s new staging of The Barber of Seville definitely is — thanks to inventive stage director Stephen Barlow, his crackerjack young cast, and Andrew D. Edwards’ witty scenery and costumes.

The 2022 season’s second opera opened Saturday, and a big part of the credit for the its success also goes to 32-year-old Mexican conductor Iván López-Reynoso, in his U.S. debut. He led the company in a stylish and propulsive interpretation of the brilliant score, with transparent textures allowing Rossini’s piquant orchestrations to be fully appreciated. There also was plenty of room for the singers to add some of their own ornamentations, in period style. Let’s hope he’s back in Santa Fe soon.

Popular in the Community