SFOpera - The Color of Love

The Color of Love

My principal preoccupation when I began to work on The Barber of Seville was that, in seeing the performance, one would enjoy the brilliant music of Rossini, from where this theatrical project was born. The scenery materializes with the music of the overture, emerging from the obscurity, the vacuum, the void. I conceived the opera as a fragile jigsaw puzzle in which each scene is presented like a sketch,forming a series of mosaics, united by that frenetic poetic rhythm of the music, which pulses along the entire length of the opera.

Although the period of the drama is not reflected in an explicit manner, all the scenography refers to the eighteenth century, when the antiquated ideas of the ancien régime gave way to the Enlightenment, thereby planting the seed for the revolution of the middle class. This moment of instability led me to conceive of the work as an ingenious “organized madness,” in that everything is moving, nothing is sure—including the scenery, which forms and transforms constantly in front of the audience. In that sense, I wanted to differentiate clearly the world of the people anchored in the past and that of those who are trying to find their own liberty. Like Rosina, who introduces notes of color into the action with her rebelliousness. The vitality, bustle, and spontaneity of the Andalusian “street people” with their dance songs and their flamenco-inspired body language are evoked throughout the entire opera.

The triumph of love gives way to a progressive emergence of colors in fabrics and flowers right up to the grand finale. The happy lovers go off in a luxurious modern coach in the manner of a fairy-tale carriage, symbolizing the fragility of the liberty that is dreamt of and the actual fragility of love.

The Barber of Pesaro