The Barber of Seville

by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
List(s):"Carp 500"
Category: "Drama"
Year of Publication:1775
Date Read:01/11/1997
Notes:If The Barber of Seville and its sequel, The Marriage of Figaro, are known to us almost exclusively through the operas of Rossini and Mozart, then that is our loss, for Beaumarchais's effortless light touch makes these two plays high points in 18th- century European comedy.

COMMENTS — Beaumarchais was one of the most talented individuals of the 18th century. He was the inventor of the escapement, a type of spring which made portable watches a reality and which was still in common use until the introduction of battery-powered watches. On the basis of this achievement he was appointed watch-maker to the King, Louis XV, where he somehow managed to become music teacher to Mesdames, the King's daughters. He invented the pedal harp for the princesses; this instrument is very much in use today (the pedals allow the harpist to play all the notes of the chromatic scale). He was also a composer (Barbier was originally written as an opéra comique); a spy; a diplomat; and a dealer in intrigue who helped finance the American revolution.
My Rating: 7

Reviews for The Barber of Seville

Review - Barber of Seville, The

Count Almaviva is in love with Rosine, who is the ward of Bartholo. Bartholo keeps her a prisoner in hopes of marrying her. Figaro, a clever bum who works as a barber, helps the Count contact Rosine. When Bartholo and his accomplice, the music teacher Brazile, leave to try to catch the Count and find a notary to marry Bartholo to Rosine, Figaro and the Count climb in a window, meet the notary and have him marry Rosine to the Count.

Clever, funny, with good characters.
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