Beaumarchais in Seville: An Intermezzo
In 1764-65 the irrepressible playwright Beaumarchais traveled to Madrid, where he immersed himself in the life and society of the day. Inspired by the places he had seen and the people he had met, Beaumarchais returned home to create The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, plays that became the basis for the operas by Rossini and Mozart that continue to delight audiences today. This book is a lively and original account of Beaumarchais's visit to Madrid (he never went to Seville) and a re-creation of the society that fired his imagination. Drawing on Beaumarchais's letters and commentaries, translated into English for the first time, Hugh Thomas investigates the full range of the playwright's activities in Madrid. He focuses particular attention on short plays that Beaumarchais attended and by which he was probably influenced, and he probes the inspirations for such widely recognized characters as the barber-valet Figaro, the lordly Count Almaviva, and the beautiful but deceived Rosine. Not neglecting Beaumarchais's many other pursuits (ranging from an endeavor to gain a contract for selling African slaves to an attempt to place his mistress as a spy in the bed of King Charles III), Lord Thomas provides a highly entertaining view of a vital moment in Madrid's history and in the creative life of the energetic Beaumarchais.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
aﬀected Aguas Frescas Andalusia Aranjuez asked Barber of Seville Beau Beaumarchais later Beaumarchais wrote beautiful Buturlin Cádiz called Caron character charming Choiseul Clavijo Condesa de Fuenclara countess court Cruz Cruz’s d’Aubarède dance diﬀerent diﬃculty Durand eﬀect enlightened famous father ﬁancé ﬁgure ﬁnance ﬁnd ﬁne ﬁrst foreign aﬀairs France Grimaldi Guilty Mother honour husband Jean Durand José Clavijo journey King Charles King Philip king’s lady letter Lisette live livres Louis Louisiana Madame de Croix Madame de Pompadour Madrid marchais María Marqués de Croix Marquesa de Croix Marriage of Figaro marry matter Miguel Ferrer minister mistress Monsieur Montera Museo never oﬀ oﬀer oﬃce oﬃcial Ossun palace Paris Pâris-Duverney perhaps Pini play Prado proﬁt Ramón reﬂected Rosine royal sainete Saint-Domingue says scene seems seen seguidilla Sierra Morena sister slave trade Spain Spaniards Spanish empire Squillace thought valet Versailles Voltaire watchmaker wife