The Barber of Seville, the overture of which was composed by Gioachino Rossini, premiered in February of 1816. The piece itself is written primarily in the key of G major; which has one sharp consistent throughout the piece. That sharp is F sharp. Also, the time signature of the piece is “4/4”, which means that each measure is 4 beats long and the quarter note serves as one beat. Since this is an opera, it was composed for a specific style of pit orchestra. Since the play has been performed many times since its debut, you can find many adaptations of the theme for almost all sizes of orchestras.
The play itself was poorly received by the public at first, but it would gradually see an increase in popularity. An interesting aspect of this composition is the inclusion of an oboe line in the original score. At the time, the use of the basso buffo voice in composition was frowned upon. However, Rossini was able to see and capitalize in the comedic qualities of this style of voice for this play. This was one of the primary reasons why the show received much higher reviews after its second performance than after the first; it simply took time for the audience to accommodate and adjust itself to the unique style of composition Rossini used so well.
Can any of you remember any experience you have had with this piece? Many of you may say no, not because you aren’t familiar with the piece, but because you didn’t know the name of it when you heard it. My first experience with the piece is most likely the same as yours. This piece was featured in an episode of the “Looney Toons”, a popular cartoon series. In the episode, (which will be linked beneath the usual recording of the piece), Bugs Bunny dresses up as butler and process to continually mess up another characters shave. The episode is quite well timed with the music which gives it quite a funny quality. I remember being a toddler and laughing around on the floor when watching this particular episode. Little did I know I would be writing this review so many years later. Eventually, I want to see the original play to bring my experience full circle. Thanks for reading and please share your experiences with this piece. I am very excited to hear your stories.
Link to Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OloXRhesab0
Link to Episode (with live orchestra): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZfaVoebk-A