In the titular role of Figaro, Johnathan McCullough commanded the stage like a matador, wielding his rich baritone with ease as he plotted the way for Count Almaviva to free Rosina from her unsuitable suitor Bartolo. Taylor Raven brought a depth of character to her portrayal of Rosina as an earnest, confident young woman not to be messed with. She effortlessly navigated all the frills with her clarion mezzo and paired well with Christopher Bozeka (Almaviva), who serenaded his object of desire with a longing tenor while standing on a giant guitar. Bozeka dialed up the humor when disguised as a drunken soldier and substitute music teacher foiling Calvin Griffin’s suspicious and bumbling Bartolo. As the conniving music master Basilio, Patrick Guetti projected his regal bass in an equally creepy and comedic manner.
Justin Burgess (Fiorello), Niru Liu (Berta) and Jeremy Harr (Officer) rounded out the cast.
Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya kept the orchestra and cast moving at a good clip. In the arias, she gave each singer leeway to punctuate and exaggerate the phrases just so, enhancing Rossini’s score with a deft touch.