Jonathan Miller’s classic production of The Barber of Seville celebrates its thirtieth anniversary

7th September 2017 in Press

The Barber of Seville
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

Conductor, Hilary Griffiths
Director, Jonathan Miller
Revival Director, Peter Relton

Jonathan Miller’s classic production of The Barber of Seville celebrates its thirtieth anniversary

Opens 5 October at the London Coliseum at 7.30pm (9 performances)

Thirty years after it first opened at the London Coliseum in November 1987, Jonathan Miller’s production of Rossini’s comic masterpiece The Barber of Seville returns to ENO for its thirteenth revival. Over the years it has become ‘a national institution’ (The Daily Telegraph) with generations of opera-goers enjoying Miller’s deft handling of this great operatic farce. For this anniversary production the original Figaro from the 1987 run, Alan Opie, takes the role of his antagonist, Dr Bartolo.

The period setting of 18th century Seville is host to a classic commedia dell’arte plot. The dashing Count Almaviva attempts to win the beautiful Rosina from under the clutches of her lecherous guardian Dr Bartolo, with the help of his barber Figaro and a series of cunning disguises.

In the title role is Australian baritone Morgan Pearse, returning to ENO after his ‘wonderfully agile’ (The Guardian) Figaro in the 2015 run. He is joined by Mexican tenor Eleazar Rodríguez in the role of Count Almaviva, also returning from his ‘dashing’ (The Sunday Express) performances in 2015.

English soprano Sarah Tynan makes her role debut as Rosina. She was last seen on the Coliseum stage earlier in 2017 in Christopher Alden’s five-star Partenope for which she was widely praised (‘dazzling’ – The Independent, ‘divine’ – What’s on Stage). Her previous roles at ENO include a ‘superbly beautiful’ (Opera Today) Romilda in the 2014 performances of Xerxes, as well as Marzelline in 2013’s Fidelio and Zerlina in 2012’s Don Giovanni.

Also making a role debut is English baritone Alan Opie as Dr Bartolo. With a significant career of highly acclaimed performances behind him (including Figaro in the original version of this production), this adds another classic character to his roster. A veteran especially of Miller productions at ENO, he has twice sung the title role in his Rigoletto (2003 and 2006). Most recently seen at ENO for his ‘outstanding’ title role in 2012’s The Death of Klinghoffer, he returns in the spring to sing Giorgio Germont in La traviata.

The role of Don Basilio is sung by Alastair Miles (‘the finest British bass of his generation’ –The Guardian) who was called ‘the ideal Don Basilio’ (The York Press) when he sang the role for Opera North in 2015. His numerous performances at ENO include the role of Alfonso in 2011’s Lucrezia Borgia.

English mezzo-soprano Yvonne Howard, ‘one of the finest singing actresses this country has produced’ (The Guardian), sings the housekeeper Berta. She has previously been seen at ENO in numerous roles including Katisha in the 2012 and 2015 runs of Jonathan Miller’s production of The Mikado. She returns in February to sing the Queen of the Fairies in Cal McCrystal’s new production of Iolanthe.

ENO Harewood Artist Matthew Durkan returns to sing Fiorello, the role with which he made his ENO debut in 2015. He was earlier seen in 2017 alongside Sarah Tynan in Partenope, widely noted for his ‘comic flair’ (The Daily Telegraph).

British conductor Hilary Griffiths makes his ENO debut after a highly distinguished career on the continent. His positions have included Chief Conductor of the State Opera, Prague, General Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra and Opera in Regensburg, and Principal Staff Conductor at the Cologne Opera.

Peter Relton returns once again after directing the 2015 run. His previous directorial engagement was launching the new Grange Park Opera with his inaugural production of Tosca (‘a remarkable achievement’- The Financial Times). The designs are by Tanya McCallin and lighting design is by ENO Head of Production Tom Mannings. The translation is by Amanda and Anthony Holden.

The Barber of Seville is chronologically the first of Beaumarchais’s ‘Figaro trilogy’. Its sequel, adapted earlier by Mozart, is The Marriage of Figaro, which will be performed by ENO in the spring, directed by Fiona Shaw.

The Barber of Seville opens at the London Coliseum on 05 October for 9 performances – 05, 10, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 30 October at 7.30pm and 07 and 28 October at 6.30pm.
500 tickets for £20 or less are available for each performance. Tickets start from £12.


Notes to Editors:

English National Opera is founded on the belief that opera of the highest quality should be accessible to everyone. We are a national company of international standard. We forge ground-breaking collaborations across art forms, and our world-class productions inspire, surprise, and captivate. We sing in English. We believe that singing in our own language connects the performers and the audience to the drama onstage, and enhances the experience for all. We bring our productions to the widest possible audience, whether at the London Coliseum, nationally or internationally. We make our work accessible by offering a large proportion of tickets at affordable prices, and by distributing it widely on screen and via digital media. We nurture talent across the entire company, whether on-stage, backstage, or in the pit. We provide a platform for young singers to develop global careers.
We tell the world’s most timeless stories, unforgettably.


Figaro – Morgan Pearse
Rosina – Sarah Tynan
Count Almaviva – Eleazar Rodríguez
Dr Bartolo – Alan Opie
Don Basilio – Alastair Miles
Berta – Yvonne Howard
Fiorello – Matthew Durkan

Conductor – Hilary Griffiths