Gioachino RossiniItalian composer 1792-1868. Born 29 February 1792. Died 13 November 1868
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 ( (listen); 29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who gained fame for his 39 operas, although he also wrote many songs, some chamber music and piano pieces, and some works of sacred music. He set new standards for both comic and serious opera before retiring from large-scale composition while still in his thirties, at the height of his fame.
Born in Pesaro to parents who were both musicians (his father a trumpeter, his mother a singer), Rossini began to compose by the age of 12 and was educated at music school in Bologna. His first opera was performed in Venice in 1810 when he was 18 years old. In 1815 he was engaged to write operas and manage theatres in Naples. In the period 1810–1823 he wrote a total of 34 operas for the Italian stage which were performed in Venice, Milan, Ferrara, Naples and elsewhere; this productivity necessitated an almost formulaic approach for some components (such as overtures) and a certain amount of self-borrowing. During this period he produced his most popular works including the comic operas L'italiana in Algeri, Il barbiere di Siviglia (known in English as The Barber of Seville) and La Cenerentola, which brought to a peak the opera buffa tradition he inherited from masters such as Domenico Cimarosa, as well as opera seria works such as Otello, Tancredi and Semiramide. All of these attracted admiration for their innovation in melody, harmonic and instrumental colour, and dramatic form. In 1824 he was contracted by the Opéra in Paris, for which he produced an opera to celebrate the coronation of Charles X, Il viaggio a Reims (later cannibalised for his first opera in French, Le comte Ory), revisions of two of his Italian operas, Le siège de Corinthe and Moïse, and in 1829 his last opera, Guillaume Tell.
- 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.https://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.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p0479s4m
Javier Camarena serenades us with a guitar and some Rossini
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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.https://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.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03nyc83
Rossini: Semiramide (extract)
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Rossini: The Barber of Seville (extract)
- 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.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p020n4vj
Monteverdi to Rossini - Italian Opera
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- 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 Rossinihttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01sll31
Gioachino Rossini - The Enduring Operas
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