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Opera Daily: Rossini Wrap-up
Welcome to the Rossini wrap up. We covered a lot of ground over the last two weeks. If you missed any of the posts, you could find them here:
While I’ve been listening to Rossini for years, I learned some new things about him this month.
He was a talented composer and a shrewd businessman. It helped that he lived in Italy during the 19th century when every town had its own theater, its own singers, and its own orchestra, but while other composers like Mozart and Beethoven often struggled to make a living out of their art, Rossini was super successful.
Rossini is best known for his opera buffa (comic opera), but you could say that his opera seria (serious opera) is his best work.
A great composer makes music memorable, and Rossini has done that hundreds of times.
Rossini was a great melodic writer. Once you get beyond the flashy stuff, you will hear some of the most gorgeous melodies that were ever written.
Thank you Rossini, for all the gifts you have given us. We will be back to you soon, we promise.
Next month’s theme is The Three Queens.
Starting next Sunday, February 7th, we will cover Gaetano Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux — operas based on the tragic histories of the Tudor Queens.
Here’s a teaser of the drama to come with these bel canto masterpieces.
This is the Act I finale from Donizetti's Maria Stuarda with Joyce DiDonato (Mary), Elza van den Heever (Elizabeth) and Matthew Polenzani (Leciester). In this excerpt, “Figlia impura di Bolena,” Queen Maria Stuarda insults Queen Elisabetta, calling her a whore and the impure daughter of Anne Boleyn. This makes Elisabetta mad as hell, who eventually sentences Maria to death. (If you are a fan of soprano, Montserrat Caballé here is her version of this dramatic moment.)
Thank you for listening and reading,