Think you haven't heard Rossini? Think again. The composer currently has more than 500 credits (and counting!) on the Internet Movie Database. Here are just a handful of examples of Rossini's music in pop culture - proving that even centuries later, his work is timeless.
Think you haven't heard Rossini? Think again. Rossini might have given up on composing relatively early in his life (read more about his post-retirement gastronomic pursuits), but his music lives on…the composer currently has more than 500 credits (and counting!) on the Internet Movie Database.
Here are just a handful of examples of Rossini's music in pop culture - proving that even centuries later, his work is timeless. To hear one of Rossini's greatest works live on stage, do not miss The Barber of Seville at Lyric, running from February 1 to 28.
The Barber of Seville
Undoubtedly Rossini's most popular opera, excerpts from the comic masterpiece The Barber of Seville have been feature in films, TV shows, and cartoons for decades.
Perhaps the most recognizable example is the Looney Tunes classic "Rabbit of Seville." Rossini's overture provides the backdrop for a classic Bugs Bunny-Elmer Fudd confrontation.
However, this isn't the only time Bugs encountered Rossini. The famous "Largo al Factotum" aria is prominently featured in "Long Haired Hare," when Bugs Bunny's banjo distracts irritable opera singer Giovanni Jones.
For those of who love Seinfeld, one of the sitcom's most famous episodes couples the drama of Jerry attempting to change barbers with music from the overture.
The Barber of Seville is not just for cartoons and comedy. One of the opera's most famous arias was used in Citizen Kane. Newspaper magnate and megalomaniac Charles Foster Kane attempts to mold his second wife into an opera star, with disastrous results, perfectly illustrated by the use of Rosina's famous aria, "Una voce poco fa."
Vying with The Barber of Seville as the most-referenced Rossini composition is the overture to William Tell, the composer's last opera. It was the famous theme song for The Lone Ranger series on radio and later on television-so much so that you can't hear this music without thinking of galloping horses. "Hi-ho, Silver, away!"
And going back to the early days of Disney, Mickey Mouse channeled Rossini with the short "The Band Concert," released in 1935.
The Thieving Magpie
Featuring a catchy waltz tune, The Thieving Magpie overture has been used in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, the cult cartoon favorite Ren & Stimpy, and more. Recently, the BBC's Sherlock-a modern adaptation of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories-made brilliant use of the overture in a robbery scene.
(Lyric Opera of Chicago does not own copyrights to any of the above videos.)