'You sit down and enjoy it immediately': Eugene Opera puts on 'The Barber of Seville'

'The Barber of Seville' wants to change your mind about the opera

EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene Opera marks the end of 2017 with a gala performance of a classic. Musicians and singers combine their talents for Rossini's famous piece: The Barber of Seville.

Many people have a certain idea about what the opera is. Mega-lengthy performances, mournful plot lines, and singing in a foreign language.

The Eugene Opera is out to change your mind, though, with an absolute mega-hit from 1816.

Rossini's Barber of Seville is on stage this upcoming weekend at the Hult Center's Silva Concert Hall, a production that promises not to put you to sleep.

"We have this idea of sitting through hours of Wagner operas and going, 'Okay, something happen,'" said Craig Phillips, a vocalist with the Eugene Opera. "This is a sit-com, it's very much like Three's Company, in Italian."

Eugene actor and vocalist Bill Hulings and voice instructor Craig Phillips, at the UO School of Music have parts in Barber of Seville.

The basical plot involves a woman named Rosina, the young ward of a grump old guy named Bartolo. She's being courted by Count Alma-Viva.

Seville is loaded with some of the best music that opera has to offer, including overtures that even opera novices will recognize.

Ahead of the big show, Phillip's message to non-opera fans is to not be afraid.

"It's completely accessible," said Phillips. "It is not something that's out of reach that you need to be wildly educated to enjoy. You'll sit down and enjoy it immediately."

Performances of the Barber of Seville are at 2:30 matinee on Saturday, and the Gala/New Year's Even performance at 7:30 p.m.

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