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Published: 5/18/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Operatic barber heads to Bedford library

BY SALLY VALLONGO
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE
Jenny Cresswell, left and Adam Cavagnaro performed in last year's Opera on Wheels production. Jenny Cresswell, left and Adam Cavagnaro performed in last year's Opera on Wheels production.
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The wealthy Count Almaviva loves the beautiful Rosina and wants to marry her. The less rich but far more but dashing barber, Figaro, loves Rosina, too. Even fusty old Dr. Bartolo, Rosina's legal guardian, is in love with his charge.

Lucky Rosina?

Maybe, maybe not, but the best way to figure it out is to watch the current Toledo Opera production of Giacomo Rossini's most beloved comic opera, The Barber of Seville.

Now making kids wiggle and giggle in an elementary school gym near you, this 2011 Opera on Wheels project offers a youth-oriented reduction of Cesare Sterbini's words and Gioachino Rossini's music, which captures the essence of the original.

Mostly, parents and friends hear about the show after the fact, because it is targeted for kindgergarten through sixth-grade students.

But at 1 p.m. Saturday, a public performance is planned at Bedford Public Library, 8575 Jackman Rd., Temperance. Sponsored by the Friends of the Bedford Public Library, the show is open to all and free of charge.

Artistic administrator Jenny Cresswell did the reduction and is in charge of managing the cast and accompanist during busy days often filled with multiple performances.

Opera on Wheels, a long-standing component of the Toledo Opera's educational and outreach efforts, is the best news in months to come out of the organization's downtown headquarters.

Since former general and artistic director Renay Conlin departed for a new job in California on April 1, former development director Suzanne Rorick has stepped up as executive director. Andy Stewart left his position as chairman of the board; a replacement is being discussed.

Although the final performance of the season, La Traviata, was postponed until 2011-2012, Opera on Wheels already had secured solid funding from local businesses and foundations and booked its rising-star performers. Its busy schedule will wrap up May 27.

By then, mezzo-soprano Monica Sciaky, tenor Jake Wilder, and baritones Adam Cavagnaro and Jeremy Gilpatric will have sung and acted their roles more than 70 times for some 20,000 young fans. The singers packed lots of experience with their bags when they came to town.

Sciaky has a master's degree from the University of Michigan and has been in the Michigan Opera Theatre's apprentice program. Wilder, a Bowling Green State University graduate, appeared in university opera productions and won a concerto competition in 2009.

Cavagnaro earned a master of music degree at the Manhattan School of Music and has performed with OperaWorks in California. Gilpatric, a graduate of University of Akron, has sung with both MOT and the Cleveland Opera.

To reserve a seat at the Saturday performance, visit the library, part of the Monroe County Library System, at http://monroe.lib.mi.us/branches/bedford/main.htm.



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