March 18th, 2008

music

Music quiz answers #5

5. Ah, what frenzy!
Ah, what a crowd!
One at a time, please!
Hey, it's me! I'm here.
I'm here, I'm there,
I'm up, I'm down,

Swifter and swifter, I'm like
    a thunderbolt:
I'm the servant of the city.
Ah, great me! Great, greatest;
You'll never lack for luck!

Ahimè, che furia!
Ahimè, che folla!
Uno alla volta, per carità!
Ehi, Figaro! Son qua.
Figaro qua, Figaro là,
Figaro su, Figaro giù,

Pronto prontissimo son come il
    fulmine:
sono il factotum della città.
Ah, bravo Figaro! Bravo, bravissimo;
a te fortuna non mancherà.


Full lyrics

Answer: Gioacchino Rossini. Largo al factotum, from Il barbiere di Siviglia (Make way for the servant from The Barber of Seville), 1816. (Guessed by hobbygeek)

Where you've probably heard it: Because of difficulty--and fun--of enunciating the song's rapid patter, Largo al factotum is often used as a show-piece by singers, as well as in advertising. The call of "Figaro, Figaro, FigaroFigaroFigaro, Fi-gaaaa-roooooo!" in the middle of the song is frequently imitated and parodied. The song is featured in the Tom & Jerry short The Cat Above and the Mouse Below, the Woody Woodpecker short The Barber of Seville (that link is just an excerpt; here's the whole thing dubbed in Portuguese), the Tex Avery short Magical Maestro (a.k.a. "The Great Poochini"), and is one of the songs in the Merrie Melodies/Michigan J. Frog short One Froggy Evening. (The overture to Rossini's The Barber of Seville was used in the Bugs Bunny short The Rabbit of Seville, but not any of Largo al factotum.) It was also more recently used, among many, many other places, in a tv ad for using Cash Station ATM cards "to paaaaaay for groceries and gas!"

This video is a clip from the 1972 movie of The Barber of Seville, starring Hermann Prey as Figaro. He's quite good, and his sense of humor and whimsy definitely shows through in his performance!




Feudalism: Serf & Turf