You don't often ask your barber to help you with your love life. That's more a job for a good bartender — but you don't know Figaro. Seville's finest barber is renowned for his ability to devise clever solutions to intricate problems. So when Count Almaviva pines for Rosina, he asks Figaro to help him get closer to her. Rosina is the ward of Dr. Bartolo, who doesn't permit her to leave the house, mostly because he himself plans to wed Rosina and he doesn't want any competition. Figaro advises Almaviva to disguise himself as a drunken soldier in order to gain access to Barolo's house (what could be more innocuous than a drunken soldier?) and later as a replacement singing teacher; both plans work, and Almaviva sets to wooing with gusto. But not without complications — there are always complications in an opera. New Opera Saint Louis performs Gioachino Rossini's beloved The Barber of Seville at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (November 21 and 22) at Missouri Baptist University's Pillsbury Chapel (1 College Park Drive, Creve Coeur; 314-865-0038 or www.newoperastl.org). Tickets are $20 to $45.
Sat., Nov. 21; Sun., Nov. 22, 2009

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