Gioachino Rossini. The Barber of Seville, A Comic Opera in Three Acts. Philadelphia: Neal and Mackenzie, 1828.
Rossini's Comic Masterpieces
During his lifetime Rossini enjoyed success as a composer of comedies as well as tragedies. However he is best known today for his comic operas—and particularly for Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville). It recounts the adventures of Figaro, the barber, who assists Count Almaviva in his attempts to woo the charming Rosina. Pictured here is Giulietta Simionato (1910–2010), one of the great Rosinas of the twentieth century. Many of Rossini's operas were quickly produced throughout Europe and in America as well, demonstrated by the pocket librettos displayed here. The Barber of Seville was composed in 1816 and soon made its way to London, New York, and Philadelphia; La Cenerentola, a retelling of the fairytale of Cinderella, was composed in 1817 and soon presented in Lisbon, London, and New York.