What sets this IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA apart from all others available is its elegant realism. None of its visuals are the least bit cartoonish or blatantly designed for comedy. Dr. Bartolo’s house is a stark, stern-looking structure of plastered brick with a comfortable yet plain, white-curtained interior, while the costumes are highly realistic 18th century garb in subdued colors. Yet despite its fairly austere appearance the production is delightful, thanks to its performers and staging. The stage business is lively, witty and free of excessive slapstick, and every singer brings his or her character to life, all offering rich, vibrant characterizations that strike a perfect balance between comedy and humanity.