'The Barber of Seville' hits the small stage in Minot

MINOT, N.D. - One of the most famous operas in the world will take over the small stage in Minot this weekend.

The Western Plains Opera Company prepares to put on "The Barber of Seville."

We sat down with some of the cast and crew as they prepare to bring their story to life.

It's a timeless tale of romance.

Philip Zawisha plays the main character Figaro, a barber turned matchmaker. He's performed all over the globe, but says he's excited to bring Rossini's masterpiece to the Magic City.

“He's somewhat of a manipulator, but somebody that facilitates the plot and helps it to go forward, and helps these young lovers to get together in the end,” said Zawisza.

He encourages viewers to appreciate not only the music, but also the humor.

“We're shaving, cutting, clipping, doing lots of favors and nonsense throughout the show, and trying to make a comical piece,” said Zawisza.

Zawisza serves as a role model of sorts to young performers like Nathan Bowles, a Minot State senior playing the role of the music teacher Basilio.

“As a student at Minot State, I'm always encouraged to participate, and my primary instrument is voice, so it only makes sense for a singer to join the opera, and stand up there with the big wigs,” said Nathan.

A talented orchestra brings a tune that resonates throughout the theatre, led by conductor Efrain Amaya. Co-director DeVera Bowles says it's a joint effort to bring a top-notch experience.

“Professional lighting, professional orchestra, professional singers, professional stage director, it goes on and on. In Minot, to give our students the opportunity to see what it's like to be a part of something, whether you're in the chorus or backstage, or in the pit, it's making music at a very high level,” said DeVera.

And if you don't understand the language, don't worry. A translation plays on a small screen above the performers. But, if you're lucky, the romance of the music will fill your ears and your heart.

Show times are Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Both shows are at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on the Minot State Campus.

You can buy tickets on the Western Plains Opera website: http://www.wpopera.org