Gioachino Rossini Biography (BBC)
The most popular, successful and influential opera composer of the first half of the 19th century, Gioachino Rossini undertook the titanic task of dragging the cumbersome and moribund forms of 18th-century Italian opera into a new era. In the process, it took him just three weeks of 1816 to create in The Barber of Seville one of the all-time masterpieces of comic opera. That was just one of his 38 stage works in all the major contemporary genres.
Unlike that other giant of 19th century Italian opera, Giuseppe Verdi, Rossini chose to take early retirement from the theatrical world – at the age of only 37 – and to devote the remaining 40 years of his life to the other great passion of his life – food. We owe the Tournedos Rossini to his inspiration. The only musical products of his later life were the delightful series of salon pieces which he called Péchés de vieillesse (‘Sins of Old Age’, 1857–68) and two sacred works, the Stabat mater (1841) and his ‘last mortal sin’, the Petite messe solennelle (1863) for two solo voices, two pianos and harmonium.
Born in 1792 in Pesaro, the son of a horn player and a singer, Rossini began to compose as a child, and was commissioned to write his first opera at the age of 15. Further commissions followed; several from the Teatro San Moïse in Venice for a series of one-act farse including The Silken Ladder (1812) and Signor Bruschino (1813). Rossini rarely took more than a month or so to prepare each of his early operas, and between 1810 and 1822 he turned out a steady flow of works, both comic and serious, for production in Venice, Milan, Naples and Rome.
Of these, The Barber of Seville was a disappointing failure at its Rome premiere in 1816, but the following year Rossini bounced back with La Cenerentola (‘Cinderella’), closely followed by La gazza ladra (‘The Thieving Magpie’) for Milan. His greatest opere serie were written for Naples between 1817 and 1822: they included Mosè in Egitto (‘Moses in Egypt’), La donna del lago (‘The Lady of the Lake’), Maometto II and Zelmira. Semiramide, written in 1823, marked the end of Rossini’s Italian career. He was by then so famous that he could no longer resist tempting offers from abroad, and the same year he left for Paris. He had 34 operas to his credit, and was still only 31 years old.
Over the next six years he wrote his final compositions for the Paris stage; they included a revision of Mosè in Egitto as Moïse (1827), Count Ory (1828) and William Tell (1829), his last and arguably finest operatic work. Opera owes to Rossini the evolution of new musical forms in the service of the drama: in particular, the expansion and integration of the function of the chorus; the development of the coloratura aria; the introduction of new subjectmatter to revitalise the stereotypes of opera seria; and the creation of brilliant overtures able to take their place in the concert repertory.
Profile © Wendy Thompson
Gioachino Rossini Biography (Wikipedia)
Gioachino Antonio Rossini (29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote operas, as well as some sacred music, songs, chamber music and piano pieces.
A precocious composer of operas, he made his full debut at the age of eighteen (with La cambiale di matrimonio). His best-known operas include the Italian comedies Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), L'italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) and La Cenerentola (Cinderella). He also wrote a string of serious operas in Italian, including works such as Tancredi, Otello and Semiramide. The semi-serious opera La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) has one of Rossini's most celebrated overtures. After moving to Paris in 1824, he eventually started to write in French. His last opera, the epic Guillaume Tell (William Tell), replete with its iconic overture, helped usher in grand opera in France.
After composing thirty-nine significant operas in nineteen years Rossini retired from the theatre in 1829. Later, he was affected by both physical and mental illnesses and for decades wrote relatively little apart from a setting of the Stabat Mater. A return to Paris from Italy in 1855 was followed by better health and the provision of exclusive musical and culinary soirées. During these, he presented salon music in the form of songs, piano pieces and small chamber ensembles that he called "Sins of Old Age". He considered the last of these "Sins" to be the unusually scored Petite messe solennelle (Little solemn mass) that he wrote in 1863.
- A little Rossini showstopperhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04frdty.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04frdty.jpg2016-11-09T17:40:00.000ZIsata Kanneh-Mason in a dextrous arrangement for piano from Rossini's Barber of Seville live on In Tune, part of BBC Black And British season.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04frh62
A little Rossini showstopper
- Let Javier Camarena serenade you with his voice and guitarhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p047yrvp.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p047yrvp.jpg2016-09-15T14:58:00.000ZThe tenor with Se il mio nome saper voi bramate from Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p047yrxv
Let Javier Camarena serenade you with his voice and guitar
- Javier Camarena serenades us with a guitar and some Rossinihttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p0479m1l.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p0479m1l.jpg2016-09-09T10:27:00.000ZTenor Javier Camarena sings (and plays) 'Se il mio nome' from The Barber of Seville.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p0479s4m
Javier Camarena serenades us with a guitar and some Rossini
- Proms interval talk: Rossini's Semiramidehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03ph31k.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03ph31k.jpg2016-09-05T13:39:00.000ZMusicologist Roger Parker introduces Rossini’s final Italian opera.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p046xf3q
Proms interval talk: Rossini's Semiramide
- Proms at...The Chapel, Old Royal Naval Collegehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04523gb.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04523gb.jpg2016-08-18T10:50:00.000ZWith the BBC Singers conducted by David Hill.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p0452710
Proms at...The Chapel, Old Royal Naval College
- Rossini's Petite messe solennelle in 4 minuteshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p044vdlh.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p044vdlh.jpg2016-08-16T08:33:00.000ZWith the BBC Singers conducted by David Hill.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p044vdlq
Rossini's Petite messe solennelle in 4 minutes
- Rossini: Semiramide (extract)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03ny3ht.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03ny3ht.jpg2016-04-20T11:00:00.000ZPreview of music performed at the BBC Proms.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03nyc83
Rossini: Semiramide (extract)
- Rossini: The Barber of Seville (extract)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03nt4t3.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03nt4t3.jpg2016-04-17T11:00:00.000ZPreview of music performed at the BBC Promshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03nt547
Rossini: The Barber of Seville (extract)
- Rossini: William Tellhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02cm7vp.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02cm7vp.jpg2014-11-22T15:28:00.000ZRichard Osborne compares recordings of Rossini's William Tell for Building a Library on Radio 3.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02cm7w6
Rossini: William Tell
- Rossini: William Tellhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sjh5w.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sjh5w.jpg2014-07-04T15:16:00.000ZIn this Music Guide, Suzy Klein talks about Rossini's William Tell.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p0225gyq
Rossini: William Tell
- Monteverdi to Rossini - Italian Operahttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p020n4tx.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p020n4tx.jpg2014-06-09T16:03:00.000ZDonald Macleod on two centuries and more of Italian opera.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p020n4vj
Monteverdi to Rossini - Italian Opera
- Gioachino Rossinihttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p020f46v.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p020f46v.jpg2014-06-05T14:16:00.000ZDonald Macleod introduces the life and music of the Italian composer.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p020f47s
- Rossini - comic operashttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p020c4gv.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p020c4gv.jpg2014-06-04T16:36:00.000ZCharles Hazlewood explores Rossini's comic opera style.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p020c4h2
Rossini - comic operas
- Rossini: Stabat Materhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w6td2.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w6td2.jpg2014-03-25T18:01:00.000ZRichard Osborne provides a personal recommendation from available recordings of Rossini's Stabat Mater.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01w6tdv
Rossini: Stabat Mater
- Rossini: La Cenerentolahttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sxml6.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sxml6.jpg2014-02-26T14:39:00.000ZRichard Osborne provides a personal recommendation from recordings of Rossini's opera La Cenerentola.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01sxmmj
Rossini: La Cenerentola
- Gioachino Rossini - The Enduring Operashttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01slkkl.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01slkkl.jpg2014-02-21T13:00:00.000ZDonald Macleod explores the life and music of Gioachino Rossinihttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01sll31
Gioachino Rossini - The Enduring Operas
- Guang Yang sings Rossinihttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p016y8k0.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p016y8k0.jpg1997-06-21T09:25:00.000ZChina's Guang Yang performs Rossini's Nacqui all'affanno ... Non piu mesta from La Cenerentola in the 1997 final.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p016y8n1
Guang Yang sings Rossini
- David Malis sings Rossinihttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01677tl.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01677tl.jpg1985-06-30T09:00:00.000ZUSA's David Malis performs Largo al factotum from Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, in the 1985 final.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01677xg
David Malis sings Rossini
Gioachino Rossini Tracks
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