Seville inspired more operas than anywhere else?

Seville inspired more operas than anywhere else?


norman lebrecht

December 06, 2021

Cecilia Bartoli has declared her count at 153 Seville-based operas.

Beat that, anyone?

Pressrelease: In 2022 the Artistic Director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, Cecilia Bartoli, focuses on Seville, which inspired an incomparable number of composers. There are said to be 153 operas set in and around Seville. It is a city which unites a unique mixture of proud ancient cultures which has generated and inspired incredibly varied music and enchants visitors with its stunningly bright light, its blistering heat, its intoxicating orange blossom scent.


  • Una says:

    Fine as long as we don’t get them all! Good reason why most are buried!

    • Novagerio says:

      You are basically right, we are perfectly happy with Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Barbiere di Sivigla, Fidelio, La Favorita, Carmen and La Forza del Destino.

  • gimel says:

    I don’t know about “inspired”, but it certainly was a politically safe foreign jurisdiction to set operas, particularly satires and veiled critiques, without getting into trouble with the local authorities.

    And it has nice oranges.

  • BrianB says:

    Often operas and plays were set in Seville (or Spain generally) to skirt censorship issues. Spain was seen as exotic. Thus Beaumarchais could set his Figaro plays in Spain though they are really about his native France; to place them there would have been politically touchy. Likewise with what became Fidelio, removing the action to the environs of Seville distanced it sufficiently from France to mute political controversy. Nothing in the opera(s) can be construed as a love letter to Seville itself.