“The Barber of Seville” is coming to Nationals Park.

Opera in the Outfield®, now in its 11th year, continues the partnership of the Washington National Opera and the Washington Nationals for this annual event, occurring at Nationals Park at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. The opera will be shown on the high-definition NatsHD scoreboard.

First performed 200 years ago, this is one opera that never grows old.

The Washington National Opera’s production puts a number of demands on the singers. Their high notes are accompanied by the low comedy of bumps, falls and trips. The result is a lot of laughs, and great delight, at the endless physical antics that are performed in perfect timing to the music.

The barber Figaro is witty and wise in the ways of the world, for he is the factotum, or jack of all trades. He is also the perfect singer for the familiar tongue twister arias that Rossini has bestowed on him. Count Almaviva is a charming royal, but he gets pretty silly over his love for Rosina who makes some groovy moves herself.

The two basses are expected to be ridiculous. Don Basilo, Rosina’s guardian, has ideas that she should be his wife, and enlists the aid of Dr. Bartolo. As they scheme, their bumbling slapstick antics are perfectly timed with their singing.

Intrigue piles up to add to the fun of confusion in the showstopping singing lesson in Act II. When all of this is over, and the lovers have made their escape, the stage is still trashed with the paper of bogus love notes. This is the moment for Berta, the servant, who gets to have her say as she faces the mess to clean up with a most lovely aria about the old man looking for a young wife.

“The Barber of Seville” is a wonderful show with a happy ending, and is a delightful choice for a night out.

The gates open at 5:00 p.m. Pre-opera activities include a costume try-on area with real Washington National Opera costume pieces, and a screening of the Warner Bros. cartoon “Rabbit of Seville,” starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

BY Sheila Wickouski

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