Why is the emphasis in the title on "The Barber" of Seville?   I am looking at the play for the first time on PBS tonight. I am researching some background info so I can clearly follow the play. Thank you for your assistance.  

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I am not certain what you mean about the emphasis on the word "barber" - but the barber in the play is, of course, Figaro. This play is big on word play, puns and double entendre, and some critics have suggested that the title, The Barber of Seville, was...

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I am not certain what you mean about the emphasis on the word "barber" - but the barber in the play is, of course, Figaro. This play is big on word play, puns and double entendre, and some critics have suggested that the title, The Barber of Seville, was a pun on an earlier play entitled El Burlador de Sevilla. "Burlador" means jokester or trickster and the play is a comic opera.

The background of the play is that it was written in 1773 but not performed until two years later. The author, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, was a Frenchman who had many, many occupations throughout his life - inventor, watchmaker, arms dealer, spy, diplomat, musician - in fact, he even supported the American Revolution by founding a company that supplied arms to the American colonists.

The play has been transformed into operas by several different composers. Rossini's version is the most popular and most performed.

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