Sunday, 21 December 2008

216. Gioachino Rossini - The Barber of Seville (1816)


Title: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Performers: Cecilia Bartoli, Enrico Fissore
Director: Giuseppe Patanè
Year: 1989
Length: 2 hours 30 minutes


Rossini is the master of the recycled music, and this being his third opera on the list you start to notice it more and more. He is pretty good at it, however. Still, his operas always feel a bit to "lowest common demoninator" for true greatness.

If you compare with with Mozart's Nozze di Figaro, of which this is a prequel, the level of the humour and musical composition is pretty inferior here, even taking into account the musical evolution between the two.

Still this is a perfectly enjoyable opera with some big stand out moments, Rossini is actually better in the solo arias here than in the ensemble pieces, hence the great Largo al Factotum or Una Voce poco fa. Good, but not amazing in any particular way.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The overture and Largo al factotum have been famously parodied in animated cartoons starring Woody Woodpecker (The Barber of Seville), Bugs Bunny (Rabbit of Seville and Long-Haired Hare), Porky Pig and Daffy Duck (You Ought to Be in Pictures), Tom and Jerry (The Cat Above and the Mouse Below), and The Simpsons ("The Homer of Seville"), as well as in Tex Avery's Magical Maestro and Warner Bros.' One Froggy Evening.

Largo al factotum is sung by a moustached baritone, a stop-motion animated clay figure, in the opening credits of the 1991 film Oscar, and by an animated bird in the opening credits of the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire.

The overture is played during the end credits of the Beatles film Help!.

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