The Barber of Seville is a bit like Bob Marley, or Norah Jones. One great song played over and over again.
For the record: G is upset with me for holding this view.
The most famous overture in opera closed out the Atlanta Opera 2013/14 season. And I do like this opera very much. Anybody who isn't amused by Largo al Factotum and Una Voce Poco Fa is probably slightly dead. The ensembles in this opera are highly entertaining. It just was written at the height of the use of recitativo, which I find can drag on somewhat.
I also learned that Rossini stopped writing operas when he was just 37 years old (he lived another 40-odd years). He was considered a genius of his time, in particular for these comedic operas, and one theory is that he was aware of a changing tide and wanted to quit while he was ahead. This was very early 19th century, following on several transforming revolutions and, finally, the French Terror. A little bit, I suppose, like much of Europe in the 50s and early 60s: people were tired of fighting, tired of thinking, and wanted to be entertained more than challenged.
But that was all due to change.