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Catalogue
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COMPOSERS

Gioachino Rossini

Gioachino Rossini

Il barbiere di Siviglia  Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège  03-11-2011
Gioachino Rossini
Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
2011
L’Equivoco Stravagante  Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège  22-02-2012
Gioachino Rossini
Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
2012
Il barbiere di Siviglia  Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova  14-06-2014
Gioachino Rossini
Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova
2014
Il barbiere di Siviglia  Parma OperArt  02-07-2014
Gioachino Rossini
Parma OperArt
2014

Gioachino Rossini's life

Gioachino Rossini was born in 1792 in Pesaro, was an Italian composer noted for his operas, in particular his comic operas. He was the son of Giuseppe Rossini, an impoverished trumpeter who played in miscellaneous bands and orchestras, and Anna Guidarini, a singer of secondary roles. Rossini spent his entire childhood in the theatre world. Though a lazy student, the young Rossini found it easy to learn to sing and play. At age 14 he entered Bologna’s Philharmonic School and composed his first opera seria, Demetrio e Polibio (1806; staged in 1812) for the Mombelli family, a family of singers. By the age of 15, he had learned to play the violin, the horn, and the harpsichord and had often sung in public, even in the theatre, to earn some money.
When his voice broke and he was unable to continue singing, Rossini became an accompanist and then a conductor. He had already realized the importance of the German school of composition, perceiving the new elements by which Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had enriched music. These influences can be found in the early cantata he wrote for the Philharmonic School in 1808. During the following 20 years, he composed more than 40 operas. He died in 1868 in Passy, near Paris.

Rossini's Operas

Demetrio e Polibio (1806-1812), La cambiale di matrimonio (1810), L'equivoco stravagante (1811), L'inganno felice (1812), Ciro in Babilonia, ossia La caduta di Baldassare (1812), La scala di seta (1812), La pietra del paragone (1812), L'occasione fa il ladro, ossia Il cambio della valigia (1812), Il signor Bruschino, ossia Il figlio per azzardo (1813), Tancredi (1813), L'Italiana in Algeri (1813), Aureliano in Palmira (1813), Il Turco in Italia (1814), Sigismondo (1814), Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra (1815), Torvaldo e Dorliska (1815), Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816), La gazzetta (1816), Otello, ossia Il moro di Venezia (1816), La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo (1817), La gazza ladra (1817),Armida (1817), Adelaide di Borgogna (1817), Mosè in Egitto (1818), Adina (1818), Ricciardo e Zoraide (1818), Ermione (1819), Eduardo e Cristina (1819), La donna del lago (1819), Bianca e Falliero, ossia Il consiglio dei Tre (1819), Maometto secondo (1820), Matilde di Shabran, ossia Bellezza e cuor di ferro (1821), Zelmira (1822), Semiramide (1823), Ugo, Re d'Italia (1824), Il viaggio a Reims, ossia L'albergo del giglio d'oro (1825), Ivanhoé (1826), Il Conte Ory (1828), Guillaume Tell (1829).

Curiosities

Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia

The first debut of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia took place at Teatro Argentina of Rome on 20th February 1816 and it is remembered as one of the biggest fiascos in opera. Apart from the many incidents that occurred on stage, what contributed to the failure was definitely the short time the company had for the rehearsal and the short time Rossini took to write the opera, using music which he had already written for previous operas (La pietra del paragone, Aureliano in Palmira, Elisabetta regina d'Inghilterra, Sigismondo). However, the opera recovered from the fiasco and soon became one of the most represented opera buffa in theatres all over the world. Even during the Romantic period, when Rossini's repertoire had disappeared from the stages because it was considered old and out of fashion, this opera continued to be considered modern, as if it could speak to the audience of all times.

Rossini's Torvaldo e Dorliska

Torvaldo e Dorliska was written for the Teatro Valle of Rome, where it had its first debut on December 26 in 1815. This opera is placed between two of the author's masterpieces: one semi-serious, Elisabetta regina d'Inghilterra, and the other one, a comic opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia. For the first time, Rossini was approaching the genre semi-serious (reaching his peak two years later with La Gazza ladra). Torvaldo e Dorliska isn't really an easy opera since it has a difficult and insidious vocal writing, but most of all, because of its dramaturgic interruptions, typical of these kind of works. The musical quality is remarkable so is the echo of the characters, both dramatic and brilliant. The figures of the tyrant and the oppressed couple represent the “pièce au sauvetage” stereotypes, presented brilliantly in Beethoven’s Fidelio and offering interpretative contrasts in the relationship between victim and executioner. Therefore, here are presented the heart rending and touching accents of Dorliska, the proudly noble of Torvaldo and the satanical ones of the Duca d'Ordow.

Rossini's La Cenerentola

The debut of La cenerentola, happened on the 25th of January 1817 at Teatro Valle of Rome, and it wasn't an immediate success. Rossini didn't probably have much time to rehearse and he had to write the score too quickly. However, this opera remains among the cornerstones of the opera buffa repertoire of the Nineteenth Century. Later, it disappeared from the scenes until it was relaunched during the Seventies, after it was published a new critical edition written by Alberto Zedda. What strikes you about Cenerentola is the musical suspension, between fairytale dream and reality. The protagonist herself, whose highly virtuoso singing is bounded by worry which separates her from the other characters (some of them are strictly part of comical operas), combine the two elements in this beautiful score. The ensemble pieces in the structure which characterized them, convey surprise and perplexity, giving to the image of this opera buffa the double face of joke and melancholy.

Rossini's Ermione

Ermione is one of the most fascinating and innovative opera by Gioachino Rossini. It premiered at Teatro San Carlo of Naples in 1819 and the protagonist character has been written for Isabella Colbran, the composer's wife, with an almost amphibian voice, a mix between a soprano and a mezzosoprano. Starting from the painful and dark symphony, not quite typical of Rossini, it anticipates the next musical Romanticism. A bel canto covered with dramatic material to reach a long, difficult final scene for the protagonist, who turns into a tragic heroin. Obviously, Rossini doesn't spare the highly difficult vocal writing to the protagonists and the tenors, other than to Ermione herself. A very interesting panel among Rossini's “serious” production, allowing us to learn more the genius of The Swan of Pesaro.

Rossini's La Gazza Ladra

La Gazza ladra is one of Rossini's semi-serious titles, together with Matilde di Shabran and Torvaldo e Dorliska, and is definitely the best from a musical point of view. The opera premiered at Teatro alla Scala in 1817 and, having such a playful plot (remember, for example, the irony of Ninetta who's condemn to death for stealing a spoon) makes the opera a mix between a «comédie larmoyante» and a «pièce à sauvetage». In spite of the plot, it has some of the most dramatic musical sheets ever written by the author (especially those during Ninetta's judgement scene, when the choir sings «Tremate o popoli» and then «Ah qual colpo») and also one of the most popular symphony. La Gazza ladra is also one of the longest musical sheet written by Rossini, almost the same as Semiramide and Guillaume Tell. The opera was successful for a couple of years and then disappeared from the scenes and it was represented again only in the last couple of decades, put on stage by prestigious productions, which contributed to add charm such an interesting piece of art.

Rossini's Bianca e Falliero

The opera Bianca e Falliero belongs to Rossini’s serious repertoire and it was composed in 1819, same year of its debut at Teatro alla Scala of Milan on the evening of the 26th of December. As sometimes occurred in his operas, such as Tancredi, this work has a double finale: both a tragic and a happy one. For the public of Milan, which was considered refined and demanding, Rossini wanted to compose a classical opera, so he applied the art of vocal ornament. The opera was praised and represented thirty-nine times. More recently, during the Bel Canto Reinassance, the opera was presented at Festival Rossini of Pesaro in 1986, with two amazing protagonists: Marilyn Horne and Katia Ricciarelli..

Rossini's L’equivoco Stravagante

Rossini was only nineteen years old when L'equivoco stravagante (The curious misunderstanding) debuted at Teatro del Corso of Bologna, on the 26th of October 1811. This was his third opera and it received a conflictual welcoming, mostly because of the subject which was considered too libertine for the time. In fact, the show was stopped after the third repeat performance. The misunderstanding which is at the core of the plot is objectively indecent : the clever Frontino sets up a trick to prevent the rich but foolish Buralicchio from marrying Ernestina, the daughter of Gamberotto, who's in turn in love with Ermanno, a humble boy. To help the girl and Ermanno get together, Frontino makes Buralicchio believe that Ernestina is actually a castrato singer.
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