Don't be fooled by the label; there is nothing juvenile about the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, now on its 75th anniversary tour.
Monday night at Ambassador Auditorium, the troupe presented a sparkling production of Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" that, full-size, would be welcome in any major opera house.
Though the actors are "mere" puppets one-third the size of the famous singers with whose recordings they "perform" (on a tiny stage dwarfed by the surrounding proscenium), no sense of artistic chicanery nags the viewer. Despite marionette flexibility in traditional slapstick, subtle refinement prevails.
Therein lies the rub: This sophisticated entertainment eludes children and novices. More than a few small fry dozed off before intermission, while grown-ups innocent of intimate acquaintance with the opera lamented the lack of supertitles and librettos.