- Il barbière di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), opera
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Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Nobody questions the consummate artistry of this famous opera. The problem is with the genre. When schemers are lowly folk who cannot do any better than trust in fake love potions as in Donizetti's Elisir d'Amore, I give them some sympathy. But opera buffa strikes me as formulaic and pointless in the 19th century. Granted that Almaviva's intentions are honorable in seeking to marry Rosina, his methods make me ill. He approaches the factotum Figaro with a certain humility: "Maybe you'll think of something to clear away my troubles." But then he asks Figaro if he is "discreet," an old standby term used by immoral Eurotrash. This sort of culture has taught our advertisers to use pseudo-sophisticated terms like "sinfully rich." Who wants to eat sinfully rich food while being discreet? These things appeal to people who shout gleefully for "a hot tub in Vegas, baby." I have no doubt that thousands of babies, begotten by Almaviva and Rosina, have crowded into Vegas to celebrate discretion. Il Barbiere di Siviglia is the spiritual father of them all. These remarks are coming from an intense admirer of such Italian operas as Scarlatti's Griselda, Jommelli's Il Vologeso, Salieri's Les Danaides and Rossini's wonderful Semiramide. Evidently there are two Italies just as there are two versions of the United States. In contrast to the fine operas I have named, opera buffa has long since drowned in a hot tub in Vegas.