SFOpera - Where have you heard the Barber of Seville before?

Where have you heard the Barber of Seville before?

Gioachino Rossini's comic and musical masterpiece, The Barber of Seville has long been a favorite of opera aficionados and novices. This opera has frequently made its way into television, movies and commercials, so whether or not you've ever been to the opera house, you've surely heard a tune or two from The Barber of Seville.

With an ever fresh storyline that could be straight of a Hollywood romantic comedy and a magnificent score that includes a gorgeous overture and Figaro’s famous aria “Largo Al Factotum,” it’s no wonder that this piece continues to appear again and again in so many mediums.  

The Barber of Seville was perhaps most famously parodied in the 1949 Looney Tunes episode titled "The Rabbit of Seville." In this episode, Elmer Fudd is trying to hunt down Bugs Bunny near the Hollywood Bowl stage, where the opera is playing. When Elmer Fudd finds his way onto the stage, Bugs Bunny uses the opportunity to sit Elmer Fudd in the barber’s chair and give him the full treatment.

 
In this clip from 1993’s classic film Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin William’s character performs the voiceover for a cute animation of the “Largo Al Factotum” aria.

 
Clearly The Barber of Seville’s overture is so irresistible that Honey Nut Cheerios decided to set this commercial from 2000 to the score.

 
Just for fun, here is contemporary drummer, Vadrum’s interpretation of the piece.

 
Finally, we have the fabulous singers from San Francisco Opera's 2013 production!


The Barber of Seville returns to the War Memorial Opera House stage on November 25–December 9! 
 

Carmen goes to the movies
Adler Profile: Chong Wang