The Barber of Seville and Saturday Morning Cartoons

When you see The Barber of Seville in Central City this summer, you may find yourself tapping your toes to music that is incredibly familiar to you. What, you haven’t seen a production of the opera before? That’s okay, you’ve heard the music many, many times – in fact, so often that it’s like an old familiar friend at this point. Composer Gioachino Rossini’s upbeat music perfectly matches the comic capers of its characters onstage. In modern times, visual artists of all kinds have incorporated The Barber of Seville into their soundtracks, for the instant feeling it brings to mind of plotting and scheming in a humorous way.

Many of us grew up with Saturday morning cartoons that were bursting to the seam with musical references from The Barber of Seville. Here are some of my favorites.

The classic Bugs Bunny sketch, The Rabbit of Seville:
Woody Woodpecker’s version:
Tom & Jerry’s:
Want to find more? Download our 2013 Opera Insider, a resource guide for the 2013 Festival. The article “Where Have I Heard That Before?” includes many, many more examples of Rossini’s music used in popular culture. Seinfeld? Yep. Return of the Living Dead? Truly. Doritos commercial? Definitely! Which ones are YOUR favorites?

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