Earlier this year – just before Seattle Opera’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville – Sarah Coburn told a writer she planned to take some time off from her work and travel schedule to be with her husband and baby daughter.

With no fewer than 13 engagements booked for 2011 – most of which are full-scale productions requiring rehearsal – a “light” season for the state’s favorite coloratura soprano might wither many a would-be opera star.

Coburn, however, is a full-fledged celebrity of the opera world for the reason that she doesn’t back away from a role.

Best known for her tragic characters, including that of the title role in Lucia de Lammermoor (which she performed for Tulsa Opera in 2009), the Oklahoma State University graduate returns to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center’s Chapman Music Hall stage to deliver what promises to be a delightful rendition of Rosina from the great comedy The Barber of Seville, this time for Tulsa Opera.

When she played the role for Florida Grand Opera in early 2010, reviewers noted her beautifully executed bel canto technique, her touch for subtle comedy and natural grace. When she played Rosina for Los Angeles Opera in 2009, the Los Angeles Times remarked on her voice’s “dark-toned caresses, lively wit and jewel-like sparkle.”

The Seattle Times reported on Coburn’s ability to catch both Rosina’s “tenderness and spitfire volatility to perfection.”

The story of the barber Figaro – yes, this is the one where he sings “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro…”  – Seville’s most famous wielder of the straight razor, and how he helps a young count romance the beautiful ward of a guardian who also seeks her hand, doesn’t change, yet fine artists reinterpret the story and continue to make Barber one of the most famous opera comedies ever. With stars like Coburn and Corey McKern, also returning to Tulsa Opera, the tale remains as vibrant as ever. Deception and disguise have never been this delicious.

Tulsa Opera’s production of The Barber of Seville runs Oct. 8, 14 and 16 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. For ticket information, go online to www.myticketoffice.com.

Previous articleDowntown Italian
Next articleWhat's Cooking?