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Symphonic Satire and Beautiful Moments in an Obscure Opera

Symphonic Satire and Beautiful Moments in an Obscure Opera

If something becomes popular, it will be made fun of. Gordon Jacob’s The Barber of Seville Goes To The Devil is a prime example of musical parody. Gioachino Rossini’s original opera, The Barber of Seville has been massively popular since it was first performed in 1816. Anyone marginally aware of the opera can hum tunes featured in the overture to the opera. In 1960 Jacob composed The Barber of Seville Goes To The Devil as a humorous homage to Rossini’s original.

Verdi wrote the opera I Vespri Siciliani after his famous operatic trilogy of Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, and La Traviata. I Vespri Siciliani premiered in on June 13, 1855, with an expectation of greatness that it never quite achieved. Despite the lack of popularity, I Vespri Siciliani contains wonderful moments that are often appreciated separate from the opera itself. The overture is one of those wonderful moments, containing a beautiful cello melody that is also used during a duet in the opera.

Verdi

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