Conductor Patrick Fournillier gestures to the singers during rehearsal for The Barber of Seville at the Palm Beach Opera. Fourniller recalls going to the opera for the first time with his father in Paris when he was just three or four. The opera he and his father saw was The Barber of Seville and Fournillier says, "I remember the stage, the singers, the conductor. I remember everything."
Director Fenlon Lamb adjusts the way the chorus members hold their swords. "There is always that moment when you wonder how it will all work out with all the different performers and elements," Lamb says.
Gaia Petrone, who sings the role of Rosina, works on breaking in her shoes during rehearsal. In more traditional renditions of The Barber of Seville, the women wear floor-length dresses, but the Director Fenlon Lamb decided to shorten the hemlines.
Dr. Bartolo spits shaving cream after a shave from Figaro. Bruno Pratico, who plays the role of Dr. Bartolo, has won numerous awards including the Rossini d'oro prize for his work in Rossini's operas.
Members of the chorus James White III, Parker Trefz, Daniel Caplin and Sean Chapman take a break with their props. In comparison to other operas, the chorus for The Barber of Seville is considered small and consists of all men.
Director Fenlon Lamb smiles as David Portillo, who sings the role of Count Almaviva, tries on a wig. Each wig is handmade and then fitted to suit the individual singers.
Gaia Petrone, who plays the role of Rosina, walks out of the bathroom after trying to cool off during rehearsal. "It's not only about the singing, it's about the body, especially with this comedy," Petrone explains about the physicality and movement that play a vital part in the staging of The Barber of Seville.
Tina Raimondi watches the conductor as she plays her violin with the orchestra for The Barber of Seville. During the rehearsal with the full orchestra, which is known as the sitzprobe, the opera singers stand in the back and practice their parts with the music as it will be played during the final performances.
Rodion Pogossov's notes about The Barber of Seville rest on a music stand during rehearsal with the full orchestra. The singers are expected to arrive for the first day of rehearsal with their parts entirely memorized.
Rodion Pogossov, who plays the role of Figaro, waits offstage until his cue to sing during tech rehearsal. Pogossov, who is originally from Russia, has performed in The Barber of Seville several times on stages around the world.
Wigs sit on the table in one of the changing rooms for the opera. Each wig is handmade and then fitted to suit the individual perfromers.
Karen Newhart sews a button on the pants of Joe Cremona, the Palm Beach Opera's accountant-turned-performer, during dress rehearsal. Cremona is a super in the production which means that he has a role onstage but does not sing.
Count Almaviva, disguised as a music teacher, comes onstage while the orchestra plays in the pit below.
Count Almaviva, left, and Dr. Bartolo, right, confront each other while the count is disguised as a music teacher in order to spend time with Rosina. David Portillo, who plays Count Almaviva, enjoys the role because he gets to spend the entire evening plotting with Figaro. "The exciting part of playing the Count usually has to do with getting caught but knowing you're immune to punishment because of your nobility. It makes it easy to play and have fun rather than sulk about concerned with losing the one you love."
Rachel Arky, who plays the maid Berta, passes behind the stage.
Wayne Tigges snarls in the mirror after having his makeup done for his role as Don Basilio. Although Tigges physical appearance changes, he says, "The character doesn't change, just the makeup. A lot of people don't realize that."
Bruno Pratico's chihuahua Clara peaks over his shoulder before entering onto the stage for her cameo on opening night.
Costume Coordinator Emily DeAngelis waits backstage as the chorus receive some feedback about their performance during dress rehearsal. DeAngelis, who has a contract to work with the Palm Beach Opera during its three month season, says that she and two other crew members are long distance runners. "It's the only way you can mentally and physically prepare for this," she says of the effort that goes into producing an opera in just a few weeks' time.
Bruno Pratico, dressed as Dr. Bartolo, waits backstage on opening night.