OPERAS IN SEVILLE
There are over 100 operas set in the city of Seville, Operas composed by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Beethoven. Maestranza theatre is where most of the operas are performed. One of the most famous operas including: Carmen, Don Giovanni, The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro and also Mañara and Fidelio.
Carmen-The gypsy of Seville: This classic tale is about a gypsy woman who works at the Seville´s famous tobacco factory (which is still open). Carmen is one of the most beloved operas in the world. It has delighted audiences since 1875. You can visit most of the actual location which are mentioned in the opera such as the tobacco factory, the Maestranza bullring, Puerta de Jerez, Callejon de Agua in Santa Cruz, Puente Isabel II and Plaza de Altozano in Triana.
Below you can read all about a few of the most famouse operas and gain some insight into their history:
The Barber of Seville
This comic opera is set in 17th century in Seville. It was first performed in Rome in 1885. This opera is about a barber named Figaro. This was the first opera sung in Italian at New York, in 1825. Rossini´s opera was based on writing by the French author Beaumarchais, who was inspired by Figaro a character from Spanish literature.
A 2nd play was made ´The Marriage of Figaro´ by Mozart 30 years earlier, which featured the same main characters. As part of the Seville, city of opera programme you can follow a route called the Figaro myth. It has a commentary explaining the background to the story, the locations, the characters and musical excerpts from the opera. The route includes Figaro’s House in Plaza Santo Tomas, where Figaro’s house and barber shop was believed to be located, a vibrant and colourful area in the 18th century.
You will find Rosina’s Balcony in Plaza Alfaro. The route is 1.6km and takes 1 hour 10 minutes. The route includes Alcazar, the Archivo de Indias and the Cathedral and the Balcón de Rosina. This comic opera picks up the story three years following on from the barber of Seville. The story has an element of social criticism, implying that the rich and powerful are incapable of solving their own problems, and that the working classes have to help them out.
The opera is also called The Mad Day, it was very well-known among the public and it is said that so many people attended on its opening night in Vienna in 1786 that 3 people were crushed to death in the crowd. Its popularity is still among opera lovers and is still one of the most performed operas in the world. This takes place in Santa Cruz Quarter, and explains the plot and characters of the opera, as well as its social and historic context.
A highlight is Rosina’s Balcony in Plaza Alfaro next to the Alcazar rear wall, popularly believed to be where Figaro advises the young Count of Almaviva to climb in search of his true love, and where Rosina sings her aria of her love for her suitor. The route is 1.6km and takes 1 hour 10 minutes.
The opera consists of two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and by Lorenzo Da Ponte. The play is based on the legends of Don Juan. Takes place in Seville, the commander is killed, who came to challenge the seducer Don Giovanni, for the honour of his daughter Anna who was betrothed to Don Ottavio who swears to avenge the father of the maiden. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the national theatre of bohemia, on 29th October 1787. It is a blend of comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.
It is possible to watch the opera at the la maestranza theatre and also at the theatre lope de Vega. The route that is inspired by this opera is about 3 km and is travelled in two and a half hours. In it you will visit what was the house of Don Juan Tenorio, the house of Doña Ana de Pantoja (Don Juan’s fiancé in the work of Zorrilla) or the tomb of the Tenorio, which was located in the current arch of the City Council and the Alcázar.