Ever seen an opera on an Upper East Side street?

Our inveterate opera hunters, Elizabeth Frayer & Shawn E Milnes, tracked down a Barber of Seville production in a private mansion that could be watched by Manhattan passers-by.

And not any old Barber. This was Paisiello’s version, well worth an uptown detour.

As the action unfolded in the courtyard I couldn’t help but notice passersby stopping to watch, and neighbors across the street coming to sit on their stoops.  “Offstage” was literally east 95thstreet just outside the gate of the Fabbri Mansion and it was nice to see the intermix of public and private and the general public’s delight to happen upon an opera in a courtyard on the Upper East Side.

Read the full story here.

paisiello new york

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  • Interesting. I have to say that I heard a radio 3 broadcast of this from the archives and wasn’t overly impressed; I thought it lacked the charm and sophistication of Mozart and Rossini. Perhaps, though, it’s one of those that needs to be seen for the music to be enjoyed. Sad that they only have an eight-piece orchestra. That is the problem with this sort of performance; lovely as the intentions are, and indeed the effects, it does bring a reduced, diluted form of opera to the general public.

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