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Editor reviews

Narrator David Timson's joie de vivre is contagious as he performs Thomson Smillie's informative and charming exploration of Rossini's most popular opera, The Barber of Seville. Timson shares Smillie's fascinating trivia with a flourish, including how the Rossini crescendo was not actually invented by Rossini, as well as how the opera was received with boos and catcalls at its first performance in 1816. This audiobook is sure to inspire an appreciation for this amusing opera, and listeners new to The Barber of Seville will find themselves holding their breath upon hearing "Largo al Factotum", still one of the most show-stopping arias in the history of opera.

Summary

The Barber of Seville is Rossini’s most popular opera. Its effervescent overture (written originally for another work!) presents a perfect platform for the amusing plot in which the barber, Figaro, stage-manages a romance between Count Almaviva and Rosina, and puts to flight the old suitor, Dr Bartolo. "Largo al Factotum" is one of the most popular arias in opera - nearly 200 years after its first performance it is still one of the great show-stoppers.

But why was the opera received with boos and catcalls at its first performance in 1816, and why did Rossini return to the plot and environment presented so sublimely by Mozart? Opera writer Thomson Smillie and actor David Timson present the background in their informative but entertaining manner.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2002 Naxos AudioBooks (P)2002 Naxos AudioBooks

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