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Theatre: The Barber of Seville
Welcome to my shop
Lemme cut your mop
Lemme shave your crop
Daintily
Daintily...
Bugs Bunny's improvised English lyrics, Rabbit of Seville

Or, in the original Italian, Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L'inutile precauzione: "The Barber of Seville, or The Useless Precaution." It is a Romantic Comedy drawing upon the Commedia dell'Arte tradition.

The Opera we're talking about is the version composed by Gioachino Rossini, and it isn't the only work by this name. Pierre Beaumarchais wrote a play, Le Barbier de Seville, which was first performed in 1775; it has been adapted a good four times, but Rossini's work gets the Adaptation Displacement Award by virtue of popularity. Its "sequel," The Marriage of Figaro, was actually written some 30 years earlier by some Austrian kid named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The third play in the Beaumarchais's trilogy, La Mere coupable ("The Guilty Mother"), was also adapted into opera, but today is basically forgotten by history, possibly due to its Genre Shift to Darker and Edgier drama.

The Barber of Seville revolves around a noble, Count Almaviva, who has a serious case of Love at First Sight with a girl named Rosina, currently living as a ward to Dr. Bartolo. The Count, who wants Rosina to love him, not his title or money, has been disguising himself as a music student named Lindoro, but the two have not even had an occasion to speak yet. Help enters in the form of Figaro, the Count's former servant and the titular Barber of Seville, who has Dr. Bartolo's trust and offers his services to the Count — for a fee, of course. This being a comedy, Hilarity Ensues.

The main opposition is the aforementioned Dr. Bartolo, a physician who wants to marry Rosina himself. Rosina's music teacher, Don Basilio, is in league with him in this quest. There is also a character named Berta, also known as Marcellina, who was probably thrown in as a Continuity Nod (or Chekhov's Gunman) to Mozart's opus; she is The Ghost in Beaumarchais' play, and her role in Barber amounts to little more than a cameo.

You've probably heard of this opera, and that's because The Barber of Seville is one of the most popular productions of the genre. As observed by characters in the manga Victorian Romance Emma, nobody dies in this show; it also offers a lot of opportunities for humor which even modern audiences would get. And we can hardly forget the Looney Tunes homage stuff ("Rabbit of Seville", anyone?). And Woody Woodpecker's "The Barber of Seville" take on it as well.

The Barber of Seville provides examples of the following tropes:


TurandotOperaLa Cenerentola

alternative title(s): The Barber Of Seville
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