Pyramus and Thisbe is a "mock opera" by the German-born composer John Frederick Lampe on the story of Pyramus and Thisbe. It was first performed at Covent Garden Theatre, London on 25 January 1745. The anonymous libretto is based on Richard Leveridge's The Comickal Masque of Pyramus and Thisbe, itself inspired by the "play within a play" in Act V of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
This musical setting ridicules Italian-style opera and opera singers rather than Shakespeare's plays and players. The onstage audience, originally Duke Theseus and his entourage, consists of Mr Semibrief and two gentlemen, one of whom has experienced Italian opera at first hand on the grand tour; they interject facetious spoken comments as the opera proceeds.
The story follows Shakespeare closely: the Wall sports a chink through which Pyramus and Thisbe arrange to meet 'at Ninny's tomb'. Thisbe arrives first and is frightened away by the Lion, who sings a splendid roaring aria. After the Moon has sung a lyrical number, Pyramus appears, fears the worst and stabs himself 'like a hero in Italian opera, to very good time and tune'; Thisbe follows suit. But they are revived by Mr Semibrief in time to sing the epilogue.