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Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

(1732—1799) French dramatist


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(b Paris, 1732; d Paris, 1799).

Fr. playwright and musician. An accomplished flautist and harpist, his mus. fame rests, however, on his authorship of the plays Le Barbier de Séville (1772, perf. 1775) and its sequels La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro (1781, perf. 1784), and La Mère Coupable (perf. 1792). The first play was originally intended as a comic opera, with mus. by Beaumarchais adapted from Sp. airs. Librettist of Tarare, opera in 5 acts by Salieri (1787). The Barber of Seville was set as an opera by Paisiello (1782) and Rossini (1816) and also by F. L. Benda (1776) and Isouard (c.1796), The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart (1786), and La Mère Coupable by Milhaud (1964–5). Appears as character in Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles.

Subjects: Literature.


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Works by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

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