The Barber of Seville Comes to Town!

“Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!”

The lively cover photo depicts a famous scene from Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” in which the barber Figaro shaves Dr. Bartolo in order to steal the key to the lovely Rosina’s bedroom window.

This photograph features Vero Beach Opera board members, but the full production to be presented at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. on Jan. 15 will be performed by an international cast, including tenor Luigi Boccia, who was the subject of a feature profile in the November 2011 issue of Opera News. Luigi, originally from Serino, Italy, is a second-year resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

Vero Beach Opera is collaborating with Orlando’s Florida Opera Theatre and St. Augustine’s First Coast Opera on the production, which includes full sets and costumes. Robin Stamper will conduct the Stetson University Symphony Orchestra. The three opera companies held auditions in Orlando and Vero Beach last September to cast this production. after the performance in Vero Beach, the production will then travel to Orlando and St. Augustine.

Even if you are new to opera, you will enjoy this one!

It’s chock full of laughter, twisting plots, lovers’ triangles, drunken antics and, of course, excellent music. Artistic director Román Ortega-Cowan, a well-known, Cuban-born, operatic baritone, has sung the role of the Barber many times during his own singing career. He has co-founded several operatic and performance organizations – Opera Arts Association, Musical Theatre of Brevard, The Brevard Opera Guild and others.

Vero Beach Opera (VBO) began through the efforts of the late Eloise Rodger. She and a group of opera lovers chartered the Vero Beach Opera Guild in April 1988 to bring grand opera to the community. in the summer of 2003, the Vero Beach Opera Guild was reorganized, and in December 2006, it became Vero Beach Opera, Inc. – still a not-for-profit, all volunteer organization that ushered in a new professional operatic platform. The new platform attracted the attention of internationally renowned soprano Deborah Voigt, who owns a home in the area.

“Deborah Voigt has been an inspirational driving force behind Vero Beach Opera,” says VBO president Joan Ortega-Cowan. “Not only has she so generously and graciously performed for VBO audiences since 2004, but Ms. Voigt has joined with Vero Beach Opera to found the Deborah Voigt/Vero Beach Opera Foundation under whose auspices she mentors young opera singers. Recently Ms. Voigt personally selected and will mentor tenor Dominick Rodriquez during 2011-2012.”

Several VBO board members serve on the Deborah Voigt/VBO Foundation Board, as well as on the Marcello Giordani Foundation Board. both Ms. Voigt and Marcello Giordani have given their time and expertise to young artists by conducting Master Classes for VBO, and mr. Giordani performs for VBO, as well. through his Foundation, he will co-produce “I Pagliacci” with VBO this March.

Members of the VBO Board of Directors include: Joseph Bellomo, Reese Brackins, Hermann Engelmann, Rosemary Gagliardi, David Hancock, Wayne Kleinstiver, Donna Lindsay, Marcia Loewinger, Dr. Robert J. Loewinger, Dr. Joan Ortega-Cowan, Román Ortega-Cowan, John Papageorge, Richard Stark, Karl Steene and Cliff Whitehill.

Season sponsor is Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi of Melbourne. Artists’ Accommodations Sponsors are Caribbean Court Hotel and Springhill Suites by Marriott. Media Sponsor is 97.1 OCEAN FM-WOSN. Reception Sponsors are Grand Harbor Club, The Moorings Club and Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Floral Sponsor is Always in Bloom Florists. The Vero Beach Ushers Guild graciously provides ushers for each performance.

Tickets to “The Barber of Seville” are $30, $40 and $50 per person. call (772) 564-5537 and visit

The Barber of Seville Comes to Town!