There were many lighthearted moments in “The Barber of Sevile,” the opera by Giocchino Rosssini, which was performed Saturday evening and during a Sunday matinee at the Hempstead House at .
The operas were performed by the North Shore Music Festival, part of the Summer Music Series presented by the . For this summer’s opera component, as an added bonus, the vocalists are accompanied by a 16-piece orchestra, featuring a full woodwind section, a harpsichord, a string section, and two French horns. The engaging conductor Anthony LaGruth drew a lively performance from Rossini’s rich orchestration.
“The Barber of Seville,” well-known for being a comical opera, as well as its overture that 30-somethings and older may recall fondly from Saturday morning cartoons, consisted of very demanding roles from its vocalists, who consistently delivered.
The opera premiered in Rome back in 1816. It tells the story of Figaro, played by Eric McKeever, who helps the beautiful Rosina (Allison Pohl, returning for her second season at the Sands Point Preserve) break away from the affections of Dr. Bartolo (Robert Aaron Taylor) and so that she can unite with her true love, Count Almaviva (James Baumgardner).
North Shore Music Festival is led by Daniel Klein, once the pre-K student of philanthropist Amy Hagedorn, whose daughter Karli Hagedorn now chairs the Friends of the Sands Point Preserve.
Saturday’s performance included a dinner in the rose garden behind the Hempstead House, with spectacular views of the Long Island Sound. Sunday’s event included wine, cheese, coffee and dessert.
Prior to Sunday's peformance, LeGruth invited the children – and there were more than a few in the audience – to gather in front so they could experience the opera up close. Laughing out loud at the humorous portions was especially encouraged.
The festival concludes with "La Bohème" on Saturday, August 11 at 7:00 pm. .