Ulster Touring Opera brings The Barber of Seville to the MAC, Feb 2023

Ulster Touring Opera, the only dedicated cross-border touring opera company on the island of Ireland, is launching its first full-length opera production: four performances of The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini, with two performances in Northern Ireland and two in the Republic in spring 2023.

The Belfast-based company brings exciting, international-quality performances of the world’s greatest operas to towns and cities throughout the province of Ulster. A stellar cast of singers will perform Rossini’s immortal comedy in Armagh, Letterkenny, Belfast and Virginia under the Musical Direction of Belfast-based Keith McAlister.

Belfast-born mezzo-soprano Sinéad O’Kelly stars as Rosina in an international cast featuring South African baritone Njabulo Madlala making his role debut as Figaro, and rising English star Jack Roberts as the lovestruck Count Almaviva. Following his success in our A Night at the Opera tour, Belfast baritone Malachy Frame rejoins UTO in the role of Basilio, and Spanish soprano Lorena Paz Nieto takes on the fiery role of Berta. The production will be sung in English in Amanda Holden’s beloved translation and will be directed by UTO’s Artistic Director Dafydd Hall Williams.

With vocal fireworks, scheming lovers and one very busy barber, Rossini's comic opera is bursting with fun, mischief and the world’s best tunes.

It's on at the MAC for one night only on 15 February 2023. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.

Full list of tour dates

Saturday 4 February: Market Place Theatre, Armagh, 8pm

Friday 10 February: An Grianán, Letterkenny, 8pm

Wednesday 15 February: MAC Belfast, 7.45pm

Friday 17 February: Ramor Theatre, Cavan, 8pm

Dafydd Hall Williams, Artistic Director of UTO, speaking about the announcement said: As a dynamic new cross-border opera company, we want to share our passion for opera with as many people across the province as possible. Following the success of our A Night at the Opera concert tour in 2022, we are thrilled to be bringing UTO’s first full production to local audiences in spring 2023. The Barber of Seville is one of the world’s best loved operas, and it continues to be as surprising and thrilling as it was when it premiered just over 200 years ago. With annual tours of full productions in the pipeline, this special step in our journey as a company is not to be missed!

Karen McShane, chair of the board of trustees of UTO said: This is an exciting time for us as a new arts organisation, where we are pushing the boundaries of opera delivery. Our mission is to bring opera out of traditional locations and into exciting local venues such as the Market Place Theatre, the An Grianán and the Ramor. We are particularly delighted to be making UTO’s first appearance in the MAC, Belfast in 2023. The concert tour will also help to bring opera to a much wider audience across Ireland.

The whole evening was wonderful. The voices were superb. It was obvious that the company enjoyed what they were doing.”

I enjoyed everything about tonight, if there were more events like this I would go.

All performers were so professional and animated in their performances. I loved everything.”

Audience reaction to UTO presents: A Night at the Opera