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August 13, 2008 > Hitting the high note

Hitting the high note

Fremont Opera set to perform "Barber of Seville"

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

Providing a big-time opera feel in an intimate setting, the Fremont Opera continues to provide exceptional entertainment to the Bay Area with its second season presentation of "The Barber of Seville."

Founded in January 2007 by Fremont Symphony Conductor David Sloss and his wife, Barbara, the Fremont Opera was formed "to establish a professional, regional opera company, presenting outstanding young artists from the Bay Area and the nation, developing and educating a new, diverse opera audience through a creative mix of main-stage opera production, chamber opera, lectures, recitals, master classes and community participation."

David, conductor of the Fremont Symphony since 1980, and Barbara, who has performed in several operatic roles, have many years of experience; The duo have cited a combination of factors when referring to Fremont as a perfect city for opera. The Fremont Symphony Orchestra, regarded as one of the Bay Area's best regional orchestras, is of great benefit while the setting of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts at Ohlone College, is an excellent venue. Mr. Sloss noted that Fremont presents a unique opportunity for success.

"There are close to half of a million people in Fremont and the surrounding communities," said Sloss. "And there has never been professional opera here." All these ingredients create "a perfect combination."

Forming the Fremont Opera, was no easy task. Opening in January, 2007, with nothing but faith in their dream, David and Barbara managed to raise $50,000 from Bay Area-residents who believed in them. In August, their first production, "La Boheme," was performed twice in front of enthusiastic audiences. A New Year's Eve Gala performance sold out and in February Fremont Opera presented "Murder, Suicide, Madness, TB - Or All the Ways to Die in an Opera"; and a preview of "The Barber of Seville."

Although an opera is a staged drama work delivered through song, Fremont Opera performances are "semi-staged" using a limited number of props, costumes and other stage amenities. Sloss feels this style brings out the best musical standards. Those standards will be on stage again Friday, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. for performances of "The Barber of Seville."

An experienced cast, assembled of both local and nationwide performers will include: Eugene Brancoveanu playing the role of Figaro; Nikki Einfeld appearing on stage as Rosina; and 22-year-old Eleazar Rodriguez as Count Almaviva. Jonathan Field, who directed Fremont Opera's inaugural production, "La Boheme," as well as more than 90 productions at operas throughout the United States, will return as stage director. David Sloss will conduct for the Fremont Symphony Orchestra.

The production will be performed in Italian with English super-titles.

For complete information on "The Barber of Seville" - cast, tickets, synopsis, etc. - or more on Fremont Opera, visit their Website at www.fremontopera.org.

Fremont Opera
"The Barber of Seville"
Friday, Aug. 22 - 8 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 24 - 2 p.m.
Smith Center for the Performing Arts (Ohlone College)
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 474-1004
www.fremontopera.org

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