At the end of a rancorous election cycle, one with no parallels in recent history, we could all use a little levity and escape, and what better escapism than to get dressed up and head to the Harrison Opera House to see The Barber of Seville, starring Norfolk native, Will Liverman.
Tonight, Will Liverman makes his hometown debut in the title role of Figaro, the Barber of Seville. Liverman has been named one of the five lyric baritones to be watched in June’s issue of Opera News. Additionally, among his vast list of awards and achievements, he recently won Top Prize in the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition and performed at the prestigious Glimmerglass Festival. But, before earning a reputation as a compelling and charismatic performer in opera houses around the world, Liverman grew up in Hampton Roads.
The rising star was first introduced to opera as a young student at the Governor’s School For the Arts in Norfolk. His class attended the Virginia Opera’s Student Night At The Opera where they saw a performance of Die Walkure. Like most kids watching a long, convoluted German opera, Liverman was probably a bit skeptical, but when he heard the “Ride of the Valkyries” and recognized it from cartoons, he decided that “opera was kind of cool.”
Inspired as an 8th grader, Liverman auditioned for a place in the Vocal Music Department of the Governor’s School. After impressing faculty with his deep and mellow voice, he easily won a spot. At the GSA, Liverman spent 4 years receiving vocal training, learning to sing in different languages and performing in many operas. He was only 14 when he performed in his first opera–his school’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
Since graduating GSA, he has earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College in Illinois and went on to earn his Master of Music degree from The Julliard School. And this weekend he will be back in Norfolk, performing for the Virginia Opera, on the very stage where he was first inspired. It’s particularly fitting that he will be performing in the Barber of Seville, an opera arguably made famous by Woody the Woodpecker and Bugs Bunny.
While the plot of the Barber of Seville might not be quite as silly as the scenes in the cartoons it has been in, it does promise to be a zaney and fun time. Written by Rossini 200 years ago in 1816, it’s considered one of the top comedic Italian operas and one of the most universally recognized. Don’t miss your chance to see Liverman’s hometown debut and performing with the opera company which originally inspired him.
For information on tickets, please click here.