Rossini: not just for Looney Tunes

Last post, I went through the list of pieces that will be performed by St. George’s amazingly talented youth on March 3rd. Be sure to get your tickets early for this event as it is very popular.

The Symphony has chosen a couple of pieces to play on their own, as well, including Rossini’s “Barber of Seville.” This piece is definitely one of those that you know, but you may not know that you know. How might you know? This piece is one of several classics that provided a backdrop for Bugs Bunny and pals during the golden age of Looney Tunes. Take a listen and see if you can see in your mind Bugs piling shaving cream and fruit on top of Elmer Fudd’s bald head.

While certainly Bugs and Daffy did their part to familiarize the public with certain classical works, I’d like to pick up where they left off and give you some different, hopefully more noble imagery to go along with this fantastic overture. For your consideration: Breaking Away, winner of the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1980. The inspiring story of blue collar youth in a college town, and how one young man finds his place in the world on the seat of a bicycle. Oh yeah, and the score features many classical favorites. Here’s the clip featuring Rossini. As a warning, this scene doesn’t end well for the protagonist.

This movie was a huge part of my formative years, and as a result, whenever I hear the main theme to Barber of Seville start, I always hear the click and hum of a bicycling peloton. Looking for a great flick for a Valentine’s Day date night? Check out this family friendly oldie and find out what happens to Dave Stohler and crew as they take on the cycling team from Indiana University in Breaking Away.