The opera buffa Seinfeld episode

The opera buffa Seinfeld episode

Jenna Simeonov

So, because Seinfeld is on Netflix, I recently stumbled on a complete and utter opera gem.

Season five, episode eight, “The Barber” is a bizarrely brilliant fusion of opera tropes and Seinfeld tropes. It reminds me that Larry David seems to really like opera and classical music, like with the recurring clips from Carmen in Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The plot, broad strokes: Jerry’s barber Enzo is the worst, and he just got another bad haircut. Kramer tells him to go to Enzo’s nephew Gino instead, but Jerry’s afraid of Enzo finding out and getting offended. Jerry meets Gino secretly, but of course Enzo finds out, and all hell breaks loose.

A still from "The Barber", season 5, episode 8 of Seinfeld, 1993.

The whole episode is an opera, guys! The barber thing, the memorable music from The Barber of Seville, it’s all very self-aware. It’s even got the Rossini-style comedy devices: people hiding in closets, the subsequent scene that plays out while said person is hiding in the closet, slapstick scenes involving Newman (Don Basilio, maybe?) — it’s opera buffa to a tee.

I also think Jerry is Count Almaviva, and Kramer is Figaro.

Anyway. I thought you guys should know. If you end up watching it, I want to know what you think.

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