Seville Opera city

Seville Opera city

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Seville city is considered one of the most important cities in the world of opera.
 The city of Seville is present in over 100 operas, some of them grand universal productions that have been carrying Seville´s name beyond the city´s bounds for centuries; operas by Mozart, Beethoven o Bizet and others composers who have brought it international fame and amongst Europe´s old cities, have made it one of the ones that crops up most frequently in the operatic repertoire.Seville Opera city

 To understand how Seville came to be an operatic legend and what its stage début was like, we have to travel back in time to the 16th and 17th centuries, when the city was already on the map and was highly regarded throughout the world by artists and literati. When the great writers of the Spanish Golden Age began to say about Seville and the attractive features of its streets, squares and buildings, would convert it into an exotic, evocative place in which to set the great romantic operas of the 18th and 19th centuries.

 “Carmen”, “The Barber of Seville”, “Don Giovanni”, “La Favorita”, “Fidelio”, “The Marriage of Figaro”, “La Forza del Destino”…. Are some of the operas inspired by Seville with locations, some of them real and others conjured up by the imagination, which the visitor will be able to visit by following the “Seville, City of the Opera” itineraries.

The visitor will become aware of Seville´s vast cultural heritage linked to great lyrical productions  when he experiences scenery  and locations “in situ”. For this purpose “The Seville, City of the Opera” project has mapped out two great trails that will enable the tourist street plan in hand, to explore that scenery which is those days inspired the great maestros of opera. Spots that in some cases are heirs to the operatic legend and in others closely macth the descriptions which in those days, were given in literary works and librettos.

The two trails are "Seville, Setting for Operas" and "The trail of the Three Legends"
 The first one divided into two itineraries  is designed to take the visitors on a tour of all those physical places in the city that have been cited in the most representative operas inspired by Seville.  "Carmen", "The Barber of Seville", " La Favorita, "" Fidelio, "" The Force of Destiny "," Don Juan of Mañara "and" Maria Padilla ". Seven wonderful operas sparkling whit genius linked for the life to streets, squares and buildings with real locations on the street plan of Seville.

Thus, the first of these itineraries takes you through famous settings such us the Old Tobacco Factory with his Old Gaol, the House of Figaro, the Charity Hospital, the Real Maestranza de Sevilla, or the present-day Triana Market, built over the former St. George Castle-, for each one of these, there´s an operatic works.

Seville Opera city The second of this first trail´s takes us to other places dotted around the city´s historic centre, that crop up in these works, such as the Alcazar, the Jewish Quarter, the Callejon del Agua, the Palace of the Mañaras, and even a tentative location where the balcony of Rosina in the Barrio de Santa Cruz, may be imagined to have been situated in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood.

But amongst all the great repertoire of operas set in Seville, there are three “proper names” that deserve our special attention. "The Trail of the Three Legends” give us a good feel for the “lives” of “Carmen”, “Don Juan” and “Figaro”, suggesting to us landscapes, scenes and leisure activities that will take us to the age in which these well-known legends  germinated in the mind of autors and composers.
                                            
The first route is dedicated to the great legend of Carmen, which initially sprouted in the mind of Merimée and was transported to giddy heights of fame by the genius of Bizet. This gypsy with her independent, persuasive and impassioned nature soon set herself up as a romantic symbol of ideals that clashed with the European mentality of her time, and she found in  exotic Seville an ideal place to play out her imaginary life story.   

                     
The second of the itineraries is devoted to Don Juan, who shares with Don Quijote, the greatest universal fame of any legendary Spanish figure. The fictitious Don Juan, inspired by the protagonist of the play of Tirso de Molina "The Trickster of Seville and the stone guest" has been brought to live in over fifty operas.  

 Although the legend of this libertine has re-told and set in different cities over the years, it was in Seville during the Romantic period that it had its heyday. So much so that Don Juan  influence has spread out throughout history to interweave his story with those of historical figures from Seville.      

 The third of this trail´s itineraries gives us a taste of another great legend present in thirty or si works: Figaro, the fictitious leading character in "The Barber of Seville", "The Marriage of Figaro" and "La Mere Coupable" ( The Guilty Mother )  created by French author Beaumarchais in the late 18th  century from a work by Cervantes.

The reason for the first of the work´s being connected with Seville is that the Andalusian capital continued to be regarded as a classic embodiment of Romanticism during a period when other European has introduced the social changes stemming from the French Revolution. Thus Figaro became a stock character around whom Rossini, Mozart, and others composed operas taking us back to the Seville of the Age of Enlightenment.

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Seville Opera city

 

 

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