Beaumarchais in Seville: An Intermezzo

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9780300136333: 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.

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About the Author:

Hugh Thomas is a member of the House of Lords in London and the author of numerous books on the history of the Spanish world. He lives in London.

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*Starred Review* Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais' plays The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro inspired Mozart and Rossini to score arguably the most well-known and beloved characters of the Golden Age. Thomas follows Beaumarchais to Madrid for a year to plumb the playwright's cultural and professional exploits and chart his megalomaniacal ambition. Along the way, Beaumarchais introduces us to situations and people that will eventually make their way to his stage. But however fascinating the fictional lineage of Figaro and Almaviva, the book's deeper gratification exists in a nuanced, critical, conscientiously researched portrait of the driven man who gave them birth. His noble inclinations soon take a backseat to his own compulsion for notoriety. His every action is defined by its opportunity to increase his personal wealth and stature, and he seems willing to exploit anything or anyone to that end. These pursuits reveal perhaps the most compelling facet of Beaumarchais' creative force; he possessed an unbridled ability to proclaim a position and perform its opposite. His scrupulous observation of his surroundings afforded him a rare and powerful understanding of the lives of the gentle classes, an understanding that informed the dramatic work that continues to thrill us today. Thomas Barthelmess
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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780300136333

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Book Description Yale University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 192 pages. Dimensions: 7.9in. x 5.0in. x 0.6in.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 Beaumarchaiss visit to Madrid (he never went to Seville) and a re-creation of the society that fired his imagination. Drawing on Beaumarchaiss letters and commentaries, translated into English for the first time, Hugh Thomas investigates the full range of the playwrights activities in Madrid. He focuses particular attention on short playsthat 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 Beaumarchaiss 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 Madrids history and in the creative life of the energetic Beaumarchais. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780300136333

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