John Savournin on The Barber of Seville at Wilton’s

Promotional image courtesy of Charles Court Opera

Charles Court Opera has been described as one of the leading and most versatile chamber opera and music theatre companies in the UK. Next week they return to Wilton’s with a sizzling production of Rossini’s comic masterpiece, The Barber of Seville. With Rossini’s fizzing musical score and witty character illustrations, this delicious adaption has been given the Charles Court Opera treatment with a thoroughly inventive twist. The action has been transported to the Wild West in this fresh and witty version that exploits every nuance, every note of one of the greatest comedies in the operatic canon.

We caught up with John Savournin, Charles Court Opera’s Artistic Director and the director of the show, to find out more about transporting this classic story to the Wild West.

Q&A with John Savournin 

What’s it like to be returning to Wilton’s with your new show?

Wilton’s Music Hall is one of the most atmospheric performance spaces in London. It’s both intimate and expansive, with the audience right on top of the stage, and it’s also the perfect place to mount this Wild West adaptation of Barber.

What can you tell us about this adaptation of The Barber of Seville?

Transported to the Wild West, it plays on many of the tropes of that world. Bartolo is now a saloon owner, Rosina singing there in the evenings… It’s going to be fun, laugh out loud funny, and breath new life into Rossini’s wonderful comic opera.

Where did you get the inspiration to transport the action to the Wild West?

We’re often looking for new worlds to bring well known stories into, and this fits perfectly with the story. And Wilton’s is the perfect place for it – you almost feel like you’re walking into a Wild West Saloon already!

How has the re-setting altered the view of the piece?

It’s allowed us to create freshly detailed, larger than life character interpretations, that brings the humour of it to the forefront, in a really accessible concept that everyone really knows.

What do you hope audiences take away from the show?

A huge smile on their faces after a raucous, fun couple of hours!

The Barber of Seville is at Wilton’s from 12 to 23 March 2024