Rossini's opera about the hijinks that ensue when nobleman Almaviva goes undercover to try and make sure the beautiful Rosina falls for him (and not his money) premiered in Rome 201 years ago and has had them rolling in the aisles ever since.
2. It's one of the all-time great productions.
Jonathan Miller's production for English National Opera was first staged back in 1987 and was received so rapturously that's it's been brought back every few years since. It's up there with 'Les Mis' and 'Phantom of the Opera' as one of the most iconic London long-runners.
3. Tickets start at just £12.
A trip to the opera really doesn’t have to cost any more than a trip to the cinema. There are tickets from £12 for 'The Barber of Seville', with 500 tickets for £20 or less at each performance.
4. It's in English.
Trying to follow subtitles and a plot at the same time can leave you cross-eyed at the best of times – so imagine trying that with a comedy! Luckily ENO’s performances are sung in English, so you can focus on their high-quality theatrical productions which are created by imaginative stage directors and designers from across the arts.
5. You know the tunes.
Maybe you’re already an opera fan and maybe you’re not, but you’re almost certainly going to know ‘The Barber of Seville’s' most famous bits of. There’s the massive aria sung by the eponymous Barber that has been used all over in film and TV – hearing him big himself up with that iconic ‘Figaro! Figaro! Fi-ga-ro!’ is genuinely hilarious in English. You’ll be surprised by how much you recognise; the overture, for example, was used in the classic Bugs Bunny episode ‘The Bunny of Seville’. Two centuries on and it's as big a hit as ever - and if you've never seen it, there's no better way to see 'Barber' than with ENO. You can book now at www.eno.org.
‘The Barber of Seville’ is at the London Coliseum. Oct 5-Oct 30