Gioachino Rossini  
Gioachino Rossini

Gioachino Rossini, photographed by Étienne Carjat, 1865
Gioachino Rossini, in full Gioachino Antonio Rossini (born February 29, 1792, Pesaro, Papal States [Italy]—died November 13, 1868, Passy, near Paris, France), Italian composer noted for his operas, particularly his comic operas, of which The Barber of Seville (1816), Cinderella (1817), and Semiramide (1823) are among the best known. Of his later, larger-scale dramatic operas, the most widely heard is William Tell (1829).

Gioachino Rossini, painted c. 1815 by Vincenzo Camuccini


Early years
Gioachino Rossini was the son of Giuseppe Rossini, an impoverished trumpeter who played in miscellaneous bands and orchestras, and Anna Guidarini, a singer of secondary roles. Thus, Rossini spent his entire childhood in the theatre. 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 (now the G.B. Martini State Conservatory of Music) and composed his first opera seria—Demetrio e Polibio (1806; staged in 1812)—for the Mombelli, a family of singers. At 15 he had learned the violin, horn, and 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, performed there in 1808. During the next 20 years (from 1808) this genial lazybones was to compose more than 40 operas.

Portrait of Gioachino Rossini in 1820

Italian period
By taste, and soon by obligation, Rossini threw himself into the genre then fashionable: opera buffa (comic opera). His first opera buffa, La cambiale di matrimonio (1810; The Bill of Marriage), was performed in Venice and had a certain success, although his unusual orchestration made the singers indignant. Back in Bologna again, he gave the cantata La morte di Didone (1811; The Death of Dido) in homage to the Mombelli family, who had helped him so much, and he scored a triumph with the two-act opera buffa L’equivoca stravagante (1811; The Extravagant Misunderstanding). The following year, two more of his comic operas were produced in Venice.

Rossini had already broken the traditional form of opera buffa: he embellished his melodies (he was the true creator of bel canto, a florid style of singing), animated his ensembles and finales, used unusual rhythms, restored to the orchestra its rightful place, and put the singer at the service of the music. In 1812 Rossini wrote the oratorio Ciro in Babilonia (Cyrus in Babylon) and La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder), another comic opera.

The same year, Marietta Marcolini, who had already sung in Rossini’s operas and who was interested in the young composer, recommended Rossini to the committee of La Scala opera house in Milan. It was under contract to them that he wrote La pietra del paragone (1812; The Touchstone), a touchstone of his budding genius. In its finale, Rossini—for the first time—made use of the crescendo effect that he was later to use and abuse indiscriminately.

By this time Rossini’s experience in writing seven operas and several cantatas and his intimate contact with the theatre had given him a profound knowledge of his profession. Singers no longer held terrors for him. He was now ready for his major works. Venice, the most-refined city in Italy, was to offer him his true glory. After the comic opera Il signor Bruschino (1813), written for the San Moisè Theatre, he next wrote—for La Fenice—his first serious opera, Tancredi (1813), in which he tried to reform opera seria (the formula-ridden, serious operas of the 18th century), and he composed an authentically dramatic score. This work, spirited and melodious, was an instant success. Tancredi’s famous song, “Di tanti palpiti,” was whistled all over town. The success of L’Italiana in Algeri (1813; The Italian Girl in Algiers) followed, showing further refinements in his reforms of opera buffa. These two successes opened wide the doors of La Scala. With Aureliano in Palmira (1814) the composer affirmed his authority over the singers; he decided to prescribe and write the ornaments for his arias, but the work was not a success. After L’Italiana he wrote Il Turco in Italia (1814; The Turk in Italy) for the Milanese and a cantata for Princess Belgioioso, “one of the most likeable of protectresses,” as the French novelist Stendhal referred to her. Rossini’s next work, Sigismundo (1814), was a failure.

Isabella Colbran

Rossini’s fame soon spread to Naples, where the reigning impresario was Domenico Barbaia, an ambitious former coffeehouse waiter who by gambling and running a gaming house had amassed a fortune and was now in charge of the two great Neapolitan theatres. Barbaia realized Rossini’s growing fame and went to Bologna to offer him a contract. Impressed by the terms of this contract—security, two operas a year—as well as by Barbaia, a millionaire rather than the customary fourth-rate impresario on the verge of bankruptcy, Rossini did not hesitate to accept. How could anyone refuse a tempting impresario whose favourite was none other than the imposing diva Isabella Colbran?

Colbran’s first Rossini opera, Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra (1815; Elizabeth, Queen of England), was a triumphant success. Rossini admired Colbran very much and soon fell in love with her. The brilliant success of Elisabetta prompted an invitation from Rome to spend the Carnival season of 1816. The first of Rossini’s Rome operas was unsuccessful. So was the second, Almaviva, soon to become Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816; The Barber of Seville). The Romans, who knew and loved Giovanni Paisiello’s version of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’s play, took a dislike to this new setting, but when it was given elsewhere in Italy it was received with unbounded success. Written in less than three weeks, the work is a piece of inspired inventiveness that has delighted opera lovers ever since. There followed La cenerentola (1817; Cinderella). As with The Barber, this work uses a contralto for the heroine’s role (though both roles are often sung by sopranos); it proved no less successful. In between these two comedies came Otello (1816; Othello), a setting of William Shakespeare’s play that held the stage until superseded by Giuseppe Verdi’s greater opera of the same name. La gazza ladra (1817; The Thieving Magpie), a semi-serious work, was a triumph in Milan.

Armida, a grand opera requiring a trio of tenors and a dramatic soprano (Colbran), appeared in 1817. Rossini was now finding interpreters that suited his music. Colbran, the tenor Manuel del Popolo García, the bass Filippo Galli (“the most beautiful voice in Italy”), and the contralto Benedetta Pisaroni (whose art had no equal in depth) were his usual exponents and carried forward his art of bel canto.

La donna del lago (based on Sir Walter Scott’s poem “The Lady of the Lake”) failed at its premiere in 1819 but soon came into favour. After several more-or-less successful works, he left Naples for Vienna, along with Colbran (whom he had just married), anxious to meet Ludwig van Beethoven. Disappointed by the economic situation of the composer of Fidelio, he returned to Venice, where he attempted to crown his Italian career with Semiramide (1823). The old-fashioned Venetians, however, did not understand the astonishing work, his longest and most ambitious, and so he resolved not to write another note for his countrymen. Following his resolution, he decided to leave Italy.

Caricature by H. Mailly on the cover of Le Hanneton, July 4, 1867


Parisian period
Rich, married, unstable, and by nature an epicurean, Rossini wanted to travel. He arrived in Paris in November 1823 and was enthusiastically welcomed in the French capital. The Academy in Paris received him; all of the town fawned upon him. At the end of the year, he visited London, where he conducted and sang in concerts with his wife and met King George IV. Back in Paris, he embarrassed the old musicians. “Rossini,” wrote the Escudier brothers, Paris music publishers,

was then 31 years old and in his prime. His countenance revealed a lofty and congenial expression. His subtle, quick penetrating eye held one magnetically before him. His smile, benevolent and caustic at the same time, reflected his whole disposition. The clear line of his aquiline nose, his vast and prominent brow, which his prematurely receding hairline entirely revealed, the even oval of his face enclosed in jet-black sideburns, all formed a kind of virile and fascinating beauty. He has a marvelously shaped hand, which he displayed somewhat coquettishly through his cuff. He dressed in a simple manner, and, under his clothes, which were more proper than elegant, the appearance of a newly disembarked provincial into the capital.

If the old nicknamed him “Monsieur Crescendo,” the young very quickly paraded their admiration for him. Paris was then the centre of the world and Rossini knew it. After some of his works had been staged, he composed Il viaggio a Reims (“The Journey to Reims”), a cantata improvised for the coronation of Charles X.

For a long while Rossini hoped to modify his style: to replace the comparative artificiality and coldness of florid opera coloratura with declamatory and lofty singing—that is, with truth and intensity. In order to do that, he also had to reform the orchestra and give more importance to the chorus. Thus appeared Le Siège de Corinthe (The Siege of Corinth, 1826), a revision of the earlier Maometto II (1820), which was saluted by the prominent composer Hector Berlioz. Le Siège was followed by Moïse (Moses, 1827) and Le Comte Ory (Count Ory, 1828), an adaptation of opera buffa style to French opera.

Rossini’s final opera, Guillaume Tell (William Tell), is on the noble themes of nationalism and liberty, and his music is worthy of the elevated subject. The Parisian public gave him an ovation, and, in a single work, he had responded to all the critics in the most elegant manner. Then he decided, at age 37, not to write again for the theatre. Tell was to have been the first of five operas for the Opéra, but the new government following the Revolution of 1830 set aside Rossini’s contract.

Gioachino Rossini, photographed by Félix Nadar, 1858


The reasons for his musical silence remain only suppositions. Some cite his legendary laziness as the cause, while others point to the Parisian hostility to his work and Rossini’s resulting sulkiness. Another cause might have been his jealousy over the Parisian success of the opera composer Giacomo Meyerbeer.

In 1845 Colbran died. In 1847 Rossini married Olympe Pélissier. During his retirement he had written, returning to his first love, some religious pieces: the Stabat Mater (1832) and Petite messe solennelle (1864). He also wrote a few songs and piano pieces but never agreed to their publication.

After a period in Italy, he returned to Paris in 1855, never again to leave it. His parents being deceased, his new wife less demanding than the preceding one, and he himself a wealthy man whose retirement was assured, Rossini gave way to the sweetness of life and to being a wise man who permitted himself to shine in society with a few clever expressions and witticisms. His bons mots, in fact, are legendary, as were his caustic wit and low humour. At his Paris home and later at his villa in Passy, Rossini gave superb gourmet dinners attended by many of the greats of the musical and literary world of the mid-19th century. In 1860 the renowned German composer Richard Wagner visited him, and their fascinating conversation was recorded by Wagner in his essay “Eine Erinnerung an Rossini” (“A Memory of Rossini”).

For years Rossini was known virtually only by the omnipresent Barber of Seville and an occasional revival of William Tell. From the 1950s more and more of his operas were revived, particularly at festivals, and nearly always with public and critical acclaim.

Jean-Louis Caussou

Rossini's final resting place, in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence


Some 35 including La pietra del paragone (The Touchstone, first performed 1812); Tancredi (1813); L’Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers, 1813); Il Turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy, 1814); Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra (Elizabeth, Queen of England, 1815); Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville, 1816); La cenerentola (Cinderella, 1817); Armida (1817); La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie, 1817); La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake, 1819); Semiramide (1823); Le Siège de Corinthe (The Siege of Corinth, 1826); Moïse (Moses, 1827); Guillaume Tell (William Tell, 1829).

Choral Music.
Il viaggio a Reims (cantata with ballets, completed 1825); Stabat Mater (1832, revised 1842); Petite messe solennelle (1864).

Chamber Music.
Five string quartets (1808).

Various, among them Les Soirèes musicales (published 1835).

Pèchès de vieillesse (Sins of Old Age), about 180 pieces for piano or for various instruments, voice, and piano.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Born in Pesaro in Italy, Rossini was the only child of the town trumpeter. His mother was a singer, providing a useful source of income when his father was imprisoned for insubordination - which happened more than once.

The family moved to Bologna when Rossini was 12, and the young boy contributed to the family finances by singing in churches until his voice broke, and then by playing the keyboard in the opera house. Even at this tender age Rossini could write down an aria after only two hearings, and in 1806 he went to study at the Bologna Academy. There he learned a great deal from studying scores by Mozart and Haydn, and wrote his first opera while still a student. Rossini was an amazingly prolific composer and had already composed nine operas before his reputation was established with performances in Venice in 1813 of Tancredi and L'Italiana in Algeri. The first is a setting of a play by Voltaire, and the second a comedy; both brimmed with spice and vitality, appealing enormously to the audience of the day.
In 1815 Rossini became music director of the opera house at Naples and there met his first wife, at that time the mistress of the impresario Domenico Barbaia. The terms of his employment required him to provide two operas a year; not a man to be daunted by a challenge, Rossini fulfilled his obligations, m some cases by borrowing material from his own earlier operas.

Now in full swing, in 1816 he composed music for Il barbiere di Siiviglia (The Barber of Seville), whose famous overture he had used twice before. The legend of the barber had already been successfully set by Paisiello, and Rossini's misgivings about repeating the feat appeared to be borne out when his own version met with a muted reception. Since then, however, the delightful comic plot and brilliantly fashioned music have won almost universal approval and made it one of the best loved of all operas. La Cenerentola from the following year is based on the Cinderella fairy tale and shares with Il barbiere the Rossini trademarks of a large-scale finale with elaborate build-up, and the use of "patter-songs" - in which words are sung very fast for comic effect.

In his later operas, such as Semiramide and Mose in Egitto, Rossini turned to more dramatic subjects and forms. Despite their huge success, he was only 37 when in 1829 he composed his last opera. Guillaume Tell (William Tell), the story of a Swiss hero who rebels against Austrian rule. After its premiere. Rossini worked at the Bologna Conservatoire before settling in Paris to indulge his second love in life, food; indeed he became famous for his gastro-nomical gifts, bequeathing to the world the fillet steak dish Tournedos Rossini.

Rossini was widowed in 1843 and married his long-standing mistress, Olympe Pehssier. His days of prolific composition for the theatre were over, but he did not entirely renounce music. In 1864 his Petite messe solennelle (Little Solemn Mass) was performed, followed by what would be his final work, Peches de vieillesse (Sins of Old Age), a collection of songs and piano pieces written over a period often years. He completed them in 1868, the year of his death, and the same year that saw confirmation of his greatness as an opera composer with the five-hundredth performance of Guillaume Tell.


Kammerorchester Hannover
Sonata II,  A-dur  (Allegro)


Petite Messe Solennelle
Corale Quadriclavio
O salutaris hostia
Annelise Theodoloz
Agnus Dei


Olga Perez
Barber of Seville
Una voce poco fa


Irina Vasileva
Aria of Corinna from "Il Viaggio a Rheims"

Duet "Cats"
Aria of Matilda from "Willgelm Tell"
Aria of Matilda (II) from "Willgelm Tell"
Aria of Elizabeth from "Elizabeth, the Queen of England"

Aria of Corinna (I) from "Il Viaggio a Rheims"
Aria of Corinna (II) from "Il Viaggio a Rheims"

Duet of Corinna and Belfiore (I) from "Il Viaggio a Rheims"
Duet of Corinna and Belfiore (II) from "Il Viaggio a Rheims"


Trascrizione a cura del Felsina Flute Ensemble
Finale dal "Guglielmo Tell"

The Best of Rossini
Aberturas de Óperas Cômicas
1. Il Barbiere Di Siviglia
2. La Scalada Di Seta
3. L´Italiana In Algeri
4. Il Signor Bruschino
5. Il Turco In Italia
6. La Cenerentola
7. La Cambiale Di Matrimonio
8. La Pietra Del Paragone

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

L'italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) - 1813
L'italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Angelo Anelli, based on his earlier text set by Luigi Mosca. It premiered at the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice on 22 May 1813. The music is characteristic of Rossini's style, remarkable for its fusion of sustained, manic energy with elegant, pristine melodies.

Composition history

Rossini wrote L'italiana in Algeri when he was 21. The opera was composed in either 18 or 27 days, depending on which source one believes (Rossini, not surprisingly, pegged it at 18). Rossini entrusted the composition of the recitatives as well as the aria "Le femmine d'Italia" to an unknown collaborator. The opera is notable for Rossini's mixing of opera seria style with opera buffa. The overture is widely recorded and performed today, known for its distinct opening of slow, quiet pizzicato basses, leading to a sudden loud burst of sound from the full orchestra. This "surprise" reflects Rossini's early admiration for Joseph Haydn, whose Symphony No. 94 in G major, "The Surprise Symphony", is so named for the same shocking and semi-comic effect.

Performance history
The work was first performed at the Teatro San Benedetto, Venice on 22 May 1813. It was a notable success and Rossini made progressive changes to the work for later performances in Vicenza, Milan and Naples, during the following two years.

The opera was first presented in London at His Majesty's Theatre on 28 January 1819 and on 5 November 1832 in New York. Having fallen somewhat out of favour as the 19th Century progressed, notable performances of the opera were presented from the 1920s in "Turin (1825), Rome (1927) and London (1935)" [2] and it has been revived frequently after World War II with many successful productions. It is performed regularly in the 21st Century with 48 productions being presented in 43 cities since January 2009.  One notable production was given at The Santa Fe Opera in 2002 with Stephanie Blythe as Isabella.


Place: Algiers
Time: The past

Act 1

The palace of the Bey of Algiers

Elvira accompanied by her slave Zulma regrets the loss of the love of her husband, the Turkish Bey Mustafà. Left alone with Haly, Captain of the Corsairs, Mustafà reveals his plan to marry Elvira off to Lindoro, his Italian slave. The Bey is bored with his submissive harem, desiring a new challenge to his virility: he wants an Italian girl, and Haly must find one! Lindoro enters alone and sings about Isabella, his true love, Languir per una bella. Mustafà comes in to explain Lindoro's impending marriage. The enthusiastic Bey describes the attractions of the match, while Lindoro struggles to refuse.

The seashore

A ship has been wrecked in a storm. Its passengers include Isabella, in search of Lindoro, and Taddeo, her travelling companion and would-be lover. Isabella enters with a sorrowful cavatina Cruda sorte! Amor tiranno!, however she is not afraid and will master the situation. Haly and his men take them prisoner. She passes off Taddeo as her uncle. Haly is delighted to learn she is an Italian – exactly what the Bey wanted! Left to consider their fate, Isabella is irritated by Taddeo's jealousy of Lindoro, but they resolve to join forces.

The palace

Back in the palace, Lindoro and Elvira do not wish to marry, but Mustafà offers Lindoro passage on a ship returning to Italy if he takes Elvira. Lindoro agrees, admitting a vague possibility of marrying her in Italy. Haly enters with news of the arrival of the Italian beauty. Mustafà is elated, Già d'insolito ardore nel petto agitare.

Surrounded by eunuchs, Mustafà receives Isabella in a grand hall. He is enchanted. At that moment, Lindoro, Elvira and Zulma arrive to say goodbye to Mustafà. Lindoro and Isabella are astonished to come face to face. Recovering herself, Isabella asks about Elvira, learning she is Mustafà's ex-wife, to be remarried to Lindoro!

Act 2
In the palace

Elvira and Zulma (who have remained in Algiers after all) note Isabella's skill with men. Mustafà reveals his strategy for seducing Isabella: he installs Lindoro as Isabella's servant and his informer, and Taddeo will also be induced to help. Elvira and Zulma must tell Isabella he is coming to take coffee with her.

Isabella and Lindoro are alone. He explains that he had no intention of marrying Elvira. They agree to escape together and Lindoro sings of his happiness: Ah come il cor di giubilo. Mustafà enters with a reluctant Taddeo, acclaimed by the Turks as "Lord Kaimakan". He dislikes interceding with Isabella for the Bey, but is frightened to refuse.

In her apartment

Isabella is dressing in Turkish style. Zulma and Elvira deliver Mustafà's message: he is coming for coffee. Isabella orders three cups. Elvira should wait in a side room. As Mustafà approaches, Isabella sings a romantic cavatina, Per lui che adoro. She will receive him. Mustafà tells Taddeo to leave when he sneezes. Isabella greets Mustafà warmly and he sneezes, but Taddeo ignores the signal. Isabella calls for coffee and then – to Mustafà's horror and amazement – invites Elvira to join them.

Elsewhere in the palace

Haly sings in praise of the women of Italy, Le femmine d'Italia. The Italians enter and Taddeo reveals to a surprised Lindoro that he is not her uncle but her lover, himself unaware of the other man's true identity. Lindoro tells Mustafà that Isabella will declare him her adored pappataci (literally a "silent eater": a man unable to resist the opposite sex). This, as Lindoro explains, is an Italian custom and a great honour, as the pappataci enjoy an idyllic life dedicated to eating, drinking and sleeping. Zulma and Haly speculate about Isabella's real intentions and the quantity of alcohol ordered for the ceremony.

Isabella's apartment

She addresses the Italian slaves who will be pappataci in the ceremony. She will lead them to freedom: Pensa alla patria. The ceremony begins; Mustafà is delighted with his new honour and changes into appropriate costume. Isabella explains his obligations. He must swear an oath of eating, drinking, and keeping silent, repeating the words after Taddeo. Following that his oath is tested, under provocation by Isabella and Lindoro.

A European ship lies alongside the palace: time to escape! Taddeo finally realizes who Lindoro is, but decides to go along with them anyway. Elvira, Zulma and Haly find the Bey still acting as a mad pappataci. Suddenly recovering his sanity, Mustafà calls his troops but they are all drunk. The Italians bid farewell and Mustafà begs Elvira's forgiveness. No more Italian girls for him!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gioacchino Rossini - L'italiana in Algeri - Overture - 1813
L'italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Angelo Anelli, based on his earlier text set by Luigi Mosca. The music is characteristic of Rossini's style, remarkable for its fusion of sustained, manic energy with elegant, pristine melodies.

The work was first performed at the Teatro San Benedetto, Venice on May 22, 1813.

Gioachino Rossini - Il turco in Italia - Ouverture (Neville Marriner) - 1814
La gazza ladra - 1817
La gazza ladra (Italian pronunciation: [la ˈɡaddza ˈlaːdra], The Thieving Magpie) is a melodramma or opera semiseria in two acts by Gioachino Rossini, with a libretto by Giovanni Gherardini based on La pie voleuse by Jean-Marie-Theodor Badouin d'Aubigny and Louis-Charles Caigniez.

The composer Giaochino Rossini wrote quickly, and La gazza ladra was no exception. According to legend, before the first performance of the opera, the producer assured the composition of the overture by locking Rossini in a room, from the window of which the composer threw out the sheets of music to the copyists who then wrote the orchestral parts, to complete the composition of the opera. As such, The Thieving Magpie is best known for the overture, which is musically notable for its use of snare drums.

Performance history

The first performance of The Thieving Magpie was on 31 May 1817, at La Scala, Milan. In 1818, Rossini revised the opera for subsequent productions in Pesaro; and then in 1819 for the Teatro del Fondo, in Naples, in 1820 for the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, and in 1866 revised the music for performance in Paris.

The first performance of The Thieving Magpie in England was at the King's Theatre, London, on 10 March 1820. As the French-language La pie voleuse, the opera's first performance in the United States was at the Théâtre d'Orléans, New Orleans, on 30 December 1828.

In 1941, Riccardo Zandonai composed a version of The Thieving Magpie for a revival of the opera in Pesaro. In 1979, Alberto Zedda edited Rossini's original composition of the opera for publication by the Fondazione Rossini. In 2013, the Bronx Opera of New York City performed an English-language version of La gazza ladra.


Act 1

At the house of Fabrizio Vingradito and his wife Lucia there is joy for the imminent return of their son Giannetto from the war. One of the servants, Ninetta, is in love with Giannetto and all want the two to marry, except Lucia, who blames Ninetta for the recent loss of a silver fork. Isacco, a local pedlar, enters and asks about Ninetta, but Pippo sends him away. Giannetto arrives and goes inside with Lucia while Ninetta prepares for the party. Once they have gone, Ninetta’s father, Fernando Villabella arrives, also from the war. However, he was sentenced to death after fighting with his captain and is now a deserter. He asks his daughter to sell two pieces of family silver to go towards his expenses while he is on the run. The Mayor enters, intent on seducing Ninetta, and she claims that her father is just some vagrant. The Mayor’s assistant delivers the arrest warrant for a deserter (Fernando), but as the Mayor has forgotten his reading glasses, Ninetta is asked to read the warrant, and makes up a description of someone totally unlike her father. The Mayor continues to force his attentions on Ninetta, at which Fernando almost reveals himself in anger. The three leave, and a magpie flies down and steals one of Lucia’s silver spoons.

Isacco passes by again, and Ninetta sells him the silver her father had entrusted to her. Giannetto and others return, and Lucia notices that a spoon is missing. The Mayor starts an immediate investigation, stating the draconian penalty for domestic theft: death. Lucia and the Mayor accuse Ninetta, who in her distress drops the money she had exchanged from Isacco. The pedlar is brought back and reports that he has already sold on the spoon, but he recalls the inscription "F.V.", initials shared by Fabrizio and Fernando. The stunned Ninetta, desperate to protect her father, is unable to refute the accusations, and the Mayor orders her to be arrested.

Act 2
Antonio, the prison warder, takes pity on Ninetta and says that he will get a message to Pippo and let Giannetto visit her. Ninetta convinces Giannetto that she is innocent. The Mayor now arrives and tells Ninetta that if she accepts his advances he will get her freed – she replies that she would rather die. The Mayor is called away, but Antonio has heard all and offers to help Ninetta any way he can. Ninetta asks Pippo to sell a gold cross and put some money for her father in an agreed hiding place – a chestnut tree. Ninetta is brought to trial, found guilty, and condemned to death. Fernando rushes to the court to save his daughter’s life, but is too late; he too is sent to prison.

Ernesto, a military friend of Fernando, bursts in looking for the Mayor and holding a royal pardon for Ninetta’s father. Pippo shows him the way and is given a silver coin for helping, but the magpie snatches it and flies up to the tower. Pippo and Antonio pursue the thief.

Ninetta is taken to the scaffold and makes her final speech to the crowd. From the tower, Pippo and Antonio cry out that they have found Lucia’s silver in the magpie’s nest and they ring the bells. The crowd hear their words and hope to save Ninetta, but shots ring out and they conclude that they are too late. However, Ninetta appears walking down the hill – the shots were mere rejoicing. Ninetta celebrates with her companions but is worried about her father. He then appears with Ernesto and all – except the Mayor – enjoy a happy ending.

The most famous aria in the opera is probably Ninetta's prayer "Deh, tu reggi in tal momento". The soprano cavatina "Di piacer mi balza il cor" and the tenor cavatina "Vieni fra queste braccia" (the cabaletta for the duet between Arturo and Elvira from Bellini's I Puritani starts with exactly the same words) are two examples of Rossini's brilliant vocal writing.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gioacchino Rossini - La gazza ladra - Overture - 1817
La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is a melodramma or opera semiseria in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto was by Giovanni Gherardini after La pie voleuse by JMT Badouin d'Aubigny and Louis-Charles Caigniez.

It was first performed on 31 May 1817 at La Scala, Milan.

Il Barbiere di Siviglia - 1816
The Barber of Seville, or The Futile Precaution (Italian: Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L'inutile precauzione) is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775). The première of Rossini's opera (under the title Almaviva, o sia L'inutile precauzione) took place on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome.

Rossini's Barber has proven to be one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy within music, and has been described as the opera buffa of all "opere buffe". Even after two hundred years, its popularity on the modern opera stage attests to that greatness.

Composition history

Rossini's opera recounts the first of the plays from the Figaro trilogy, by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais, while Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro, composed 30 years earlier in 1786, is based on the second part of the Beaumarchais trilogy. The first Beaumarchais play was originally conceived as an opéra comique, but was rejected as such by the Comédie-Italienne. The play as it is now known was premiered in 1775 by the Comédie-Française at the Théâtre des Tuileries in Paris.

Other operas based on the first play were composed by Giovanni Paisiello (Il barbiere di Siviglia (1782), by Nicolas Isouard (1796), and by Francesco Morlacchi (1816). Though the work of Paisiello triumphed for a time, only Rossini's version has stood the test of time and continues to be a mainstay of operatic repertoire. On 11 November 1868, two days before Rossini's death, the composer Costantino Dall'Argine (1842–1877) premiered an opera based on the same libretto as Rossini's work, bearing a dedication to Rossini. The premiere was not a failure, but critics condemned the "audacity" of the young composer and the work is now forgotten.

Rossini was well known for being remarkably productive, completing an average of two operas per year for 19 years, and in some years writing as many as four. Musicologists believe that, true to form, the music for Il Barbiere di Siviglia was composed in just under three weeks,[8] although the famous overture was actually recycled from two earlier Rossini operas, Aureliano in Palmira and Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra and thus contains none of the thematic material in Il Barbiere di Siviglia itself.

Performance history
The premiere of Rossini's opera was a disastrous failure: the audience hissed and jeered throughout, and several on-stage accidents occurred. However, many of the audience were supporters of one of Rossini's rivals, Giovanni Paisiello, who played on mob mentality to provoke the rest of the audience to dislike the opera. Paisiello had already composed The Barber of Seville and took Rossini's new version to be an affront to his version. In particular, Paisiello and his followers were opposed to the use of basso buffo, which is common in comic opera. The second performance met with quite a different fate, becoming a roaring success. The original French play, Le Barbier de Séville, endured a similar story: poorly received at first, only to become a favorite within a week.

The opera was first performed in England on 10 March 1818 at the King's Theatre in London in Italian, soon followed on 13 October at the Covent Garden Theatre by an English version translated by John Fawcett and Daniel Terry. It was first performed in America on 3 May 1819 in English (probably the Covent Garden version) at the Park Theatre in New York. It was given in French at the Théâtre d'Orléans in New Orleans on 4 March 1823, and became the first opera ever to be performed in Italian in New York, when Manuel Garcia (who played Almaviva) and his Italian troupe opened their first season there with Il barbiere on 29 November 1825 at the Park Theatre. The cast of eight had three other members of his family, including the 17-year-old Maria-Felicia, later known as Maria Malibran.

The role of Rosina was originally written for a contralto. According to Richard Osborne, because of its popularity, singers have sometimes distorted Rossini's intentions. The most serious distortion has been transposition of the role to a higher pitch, "turning her from a lustrous alto into a pert soprano." In addition, the singing lesson in act 2 has often been turned into "a show-stopping cabaret." Adelina Patti was known to include Luigi Arditi's "Il bacio", the Bolero from Verdi's I vespri siciliani, the Shadow Song from Meyerbeer's Dinorah, and Henry Bishop's "Home! Sweet Home!". Nellie Melba followed suit, accompanying herself on the piano in the final song. Pauline Viardot began the practice of inserting Alabiev's "Nightingale". Maria Callas sang a cut-down version of Rossini's own "Contro un cor."

Once after Patti had sung a particularly florid rendition of the opera's legitimate aria, 'Una voce poco fa', Rossini is reported to have asked her: "Very nice, my dear, and who wrote the piece you have just performed?"

As a staple of the operatic repertoire, Barber appears as number nine on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide. Because of the increasing scarcity of good contraltos, the role of Rosina has most frequently been sung by a coloratura mezzo-soprano (with or without pitch alterations, depending on the singer), and has in the past, and occasionally in more recent times, been sung by coloratura sopranos such as Marcella Sembrich, Maria Callas, Roberta Peters, Gianna D'Angelo, Victoria de los Ángeles, Beverly Sills, Lily Pons, Diana Damrau, Kathleen Battle and Luciana Serra. Famous recent mezzo-soprano Rosinas include Marilyn Horne, Teresa Berganza, Lucia Valentini Terrani, Susanne Marsee, Cecilia Bartoli, Joyce DiDonato, Jennifer Larmore, Elīna Garanča, and Vesselina Kasarova. Famous contralto Rosinas include Ewa Podleś.

Place: Seville, Spain
Time: 18th century

Act 1
The square in front of Bartolo's house

In a public square outside Bartolo's house a band of musicians and a poor student named Lindoro are serenading, to no avail, the window of Rosina ("Ecco, ridente in cielo"; "There, laughing in the sky"). Lindoro, who is really the young Count Almaviva in disguise, hopes to make the beautiful Rosina love him for himself—not his money. Almaviva pays off the musicians who then depart, leaving him to brood alone. Rosina is the young ward of the grumpy, elderly Bartolo and she is allowed very little freedom because Bartolo plans to marry her, and her not inconsiderable dowry, himself – once she is of age.

Figaro approaches singing (Aria: "Largo al factotum della città"; "Make way for the factotum of the city"). Since Figaro used to be a servant of the Count, the Count asks him for assistance in helping him meet Rosina, offering him money should he be successful in arranging this. (Duet: "All'idea di quel metallo"; "At the idea of that metal"). Figaro advises the Count to disguise himself as a drunken soldier, ordered to be billeted with Bartolo, so as to gain entrance to the house. For this suggestion, Figaro is richly rewarded.

A room in Bartolo's house with four doors

The scene begins with Rosina's cavatina, "Una voce poco fa" ("A voice a little while ago"). (This aria was originally written in the key of E major, but it is sometimes transposed a semitone up into F major for coloratura sopranos to perform, giving them the chance to sing extra, almost traditional, cadenzas, sometimes reaching high Ds or even Fs, as is the case of Diana Damrau's performances.)

Knowing the Count only as Lindoro, Rosina writes to him. As she is leaving the room, Bartolo and Basilio enter. Bartolo is suspicious of the Count, and Basilio advises that he be put out of the way by creating false rumours about him (this aria, "La calunnia è un venticello" – "Calumny is a little breeze" – is almost always sung a tone lower than the original D major).

When the two have gone, Rosina and Figaro enter. The latter asks Rosina to write a few encouraging words to Lindoro, which she has actually already written. (Duet: "Dunque io son...tu non m'inganni?"; "Then I'm the one...you're not fooling me?"). Although surprised by Bartolo, Rosina manages to fool him, but he remains suspicious. (Aria: "A un dottor della mia sorte"; "To a doctor of my class").

As Berta, the Bartolo housekeeper, attempts to leave the house, she is met by the Count disguised as an intoxicated soldier. In fear of the drunken man, she rushes to Bartolo for protection and he tries to remove the supposed soldier, but does not succeed. The Count manages to have a quick word with Rosina, whispering that he is Lindoro and passing her a letter. The watching Bartolo is suspicious and demands to know what is in the piece of paper in Rosina's hands, but she fools him by handing over her laundry list. Bartolo and the Count start arguing and, when Basilio, Figaro and Berta appear, the noise attracts the attention of the Officer of the Watch and his men. Bartolo believes that the Count has been arrested, but Almaviva only has to whisper his name to the officer and is released right away. Bartolo and Basilio are astounded, and Rosina makes sport of them. (Finale: "Fredda ed immobile, comme una statua"; "Cold and still, just like a statue").

Act 2
A room in Bartolo's house with a piano

Almaviva again appears at the doctor's house, this time disguised as a singing tutor and pretending to act as substitute for the supposedly ailing Basilio, Rosina's regular singing teacher. Initially, Bartolo is suspicious, but does allow Almaviva to enter when the Count gives him Rosina's letter. He describes his plan to discredit Lindoro whom he believes to be one of the Count's servants, intent on pursuing women for his master. Figaro arrives to shave Bartolo. Bartolo demurs, but Figaro makes such a scene he agrees, but in order not to leave the supposed music master alone with Rosina, the doctor has Figaro shave him right there in the music room. When Basilio suddenly appears, he is bribed by a full purse from Almaviva and persuaded to leave again, with much discussion of how ill he looks. (Quintet: "Don Basilio! – Cosa veggo!"; "Don Basilio! – What do I see?"). Figaro begins to shave Bartolo, but Bartolo overhears the lovers conspiring. He drives everybody away.

The scene returns to the location of act 1 with a grill looking out onto the square. Bartolo orders Basilio to have the notary ready to marry him to Rosina that evening. He also explains his plot to come between the lovers. Basilio leaves and Rosina arrives. Bartolo shows Rosina the letter she wrote to "Lindoro", and persuades her that this is evidence that Lindoro is merely a flunky of Almaviva. Rosina believes him and agrees to marry him.

The stage remains empty while the music creates a thunder storm to indicate the passage of time. The Count and Figaro climb up a ladder to the balcony and enter the room through a window. Rosina shows Almaviva the letter and expresses her feelings of betrayal and heartbreak. Almaviva reveals his identity and the two reconcile. While Almaviva and Rosina are enraptured by one another, Figaro keeps urging them to leave. Two people are heard approaching the front door, and attempting to leave by way of the ladder, they realize it has been removed. The two are Basilio and the notary and Basilio is given the choice of accepting a bribe and being a witness or receiving two bullets in the head (an easy choice, he says). He and Figaro witness the signatures to a marriage contract between the Count and Rosina. Bartolo barges in, but is too late. The befuddled Bartolo (who was the one who had removed the ladder) is pacified by being allowed to retain Rosina's dowry.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rossini - Il Barbiere di Siviglia - 1816
Published on Nov 17, 2012
Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Ruggero Raimondi
Juan Diego Flores
Maria Bayo
Bruno Pratico
Pietro Spagnoli
Susana Cordon
Gianluigi Gelmetti
Il Barbiere Di Siviglia - G.Rossini - Scala - 1999
Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Teatro alla Scala 1999.

Almaviva : Juan Diego Florez
Rosina : Sonia Ganassi
Bartolo : Alfonso Antoniozzi
Figaro : Roberto Frontali
Basilio : Giorgio Surjan
Berta : Tiziana Tramonti

Dir. : Riccardo Chailly

A.Netrebko V.Samsonov "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" (full version)
Premiere of Mariinsky theatre 9 March 1996.
Anna Netrebko and Vladimir Samsonov in
"Il Barbiere di Siviglia" by G.Rossini

Rosina-Anna Netrebko
Figaro-Vladimir Samsonov
Almaviva-Leonid Zahojaev
Bartolo-Yuriy Shklyar
Basilio-Vladimir Ognovenko
Berta-Nadejda Vasileva
Fiorello and oficer- Yuriy Laptev

Director-Konstantin Plujnikov
Conductor-Alexandr Polyanichko

Orchestra and choir of Mariinsky theatre

General director -Valery Gergiev

Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (Claudio Abbado)
Gioachino Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia - "A un dottor della mia sorte" (Andrew Shore) (in English)
Gioachino Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia - "Ehi di casa... buona gente"
(in English) - No. 1.
Figaro - Alan Opie,
Count Almaviva - Bruce Ford,
Rosina - Della Jones,
Dr. Bartolo - Andrew Shore,
Don Basilio - Peter Rose,
Berta - Jennifer Rhys-Davies,
Constable - Peter Snipp.
Gioachino Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia - "Zitti, che battono" (in English) - No. 2.
Figaro - Alan Opie,
Count Almaviva - Bruce Ford,
Rosina - Della Jones,
Dr. Bartolo - Andrew Shore,
Don Basilio - Peter Rose,
Berta - Jennifer Rhys-Davies,
Constable - Peter Snipp.
Gioachino Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia - "Largo al factotum della citta" (Alan Opie) (in English)
Largo al factotum - Leo Nucci (Il Barbiere di Siviglia-Rossini)
Placido Domingo - Largo al factotum (Il Barbiere di Siviglia-Rossini)
Luciano Pavarotti - Figaro - Largo al factotum (Il Barbiere di Siviglia-Rossini)
Gioachino Rossini - La donna del lago - "Vieni, o stella che lucida e bella" - 1819
To avoid any confusion, here is the list of singers and their respective roles:

Elena - Katia Ricciarelli,
Malcolm - Lucia Valentini-Terrani,
Rodrigo di Dhu - Dano Raffanti,
Douglas d'Angus - Samuel Ramey,
Albina - Cecilia Valdenassi,
Serano - Oslavio Di Credico.

The Act One Finale is one of Rossini's most striking achievements. Not only is it one of his most beautiful pieces, it is also an incredibly dramatic scene which perfectly illustrates each change of the protagonists' situation. Most finales are built around the familiar "opening statement - suspension over time - final stretta as all leave the stage angry and confused" kind of structure. Rossini's piece isn't exactly breaking the tradition, as most critics say. It's still centered on the structure mentioned above, with "Crudele sospetto" being the suspension over time. That being said, let's see the structure of the piece:

1. 0:00 - 1:40. "Vieni, o stella". A celebratory chorus sings of Elena's beauty. It's a fairly typical opening to a finale. As a point of interest, here we get a melody taken directly from "Ricciardo" (from Agorante's cavatina).
2. 1:40 - 6:24. "Quanto a quest'alma amante", a terzettino for Elena, her father and Rodrigo. It details Rodrigo happiness of seeing his bride and yet he sees that his bride is unhappy which causes him distress. Douglas is, much like any oppressive father figure in these situations, is threatening his daughter while trying to keep fact in front of Rodrigo. Elena is, quite simply and quite rightly, unhappy of being married against love. All this is enveloped into a most wonderful piece with a very beautiful orchestral line. The piece starts as separate phrases of each character but soon they are connected together as all three lament the loss of their peace of mind. What's rather interesting is the fact that Rodrigo's main line here is taken directly from the central andante section of his aria where he also is thinking of Elena.
3. 6:24 - 7:52. "La mia spada, e la piu fida", the first musical bridge set to a musical theme to be repeated in the stretta. Malcolm appears on stage with a spectacular war song, while Douglas and Elena are consumed by very different feelings in the musical background: the former -- by rage at seeing the lover of his daughter, the latter -- by happiness.
4. 7:52 - to the end. "Questo amplesso a te fia pegno", another bridge. Rodrigo enthusiastically greats his compatriot. And after a bit of small talk, Malcolm is shocked to find out that the bride is his beloved Elena who quickly and quietly asks him to be prudent and not to offend the her groom or father, if not for her, then for his own sake.

Gioachino Rossini - La donna del lago - "Tanti affetti in tal momento" (Frederica von Stade)
Elena - Frederica Von Stade,
Malcolm - Marilyn Horne,
Albina - Susan Mentzer,
Serano - Bruce Ford.
Gioachino Rossini - La donna del lago - "Crudele sospetto" (continuation of the Finale)
To avoid any confusion, here is the list of singers and their respective roles:

Elena - Katia Ricciarelli,
Malcolm - Lucia Valentini-Terrani,
Rodrigo di Dhu - Dano Raffanti,
Douglas d'Angus - Samuel Ramey,
Albina - Cecilia Valdenassi,
Serano - Oslavio Di Credico.

We continue at the central part of the finale:

5. 0:00 - 2:04. "Crudele sospetto", the "suspension over time". An uncommonly short part and a martial one, rather than the usual lyric andante. Everyone is left to his/her suffering: Rodrigo in vain tries to understand the circumstances; Elena and Malcolm are lamenting their fate; Douglas is furious but still tries to keep himself in check; the chorus and the comprimario singers are voicing what we are all thinking: "Will this mystery finally unravel itself?"
6. 2:04 - 4:14. "Sul colle a Morve opposto", the third bridge. Serano enters announcing the attack of the King's forces. Rodrigo puts aside his suspicions and strikes the traditional shield announcing the battle.
7. 4:14 - 6:43. "Giа un raggio forier", the "prayer". A powerful chorus scene, ideally using several choral groups to represent the different clans and the women.
8. 6:43 - 7:12. "Allarmi o campioni!", the final bridge, leading straight into the stretta; a prolonged call to arms.
9. 7:12 - to the end. "Su... amici", the final section, a brilliant march for all the six soloists, three choruses, the orchestra and a stage band. A striking finale, especially considering that one expects a scene where Malcolm, Rodrigo and Douglas are preparing to fight each other at this moment. Rossini prolongs this moment to the terzet in the Second Act that has already been posted.

Gioachino Rossini : The Barber Of Seville - 1821 - Overture
"Cenerentola" - 1817
La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant) is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto was written by Jacopo Ferretti, based on the fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault. The opera was first performed in Rome's Teatro Valle on 25 January 1817.

Rossini composed La Cenerentola when he was 25 years old, following the success of The Barber of Seville the year before. La Cenerentola, which he completed in a period of three weeks, is considered to have some of his finest writing for solo voice and ensembles. Rossini saved some time by reusing an overture from La gazzetta and part of an aria from The Barber of Seville and by enlisting a collaborator, Luca Agolini, who wrote the secco recitatives and three numbers (Alidoro's "Vasto teatro è il mondo", Clorinda's "Sventurata!" and the chorus "Ah, della bella incognita"). The facsimile edition of the autograph has a different aria for Alidoro, "Fa' silenzio, odo un rumore"; this seems to have been added by an anonymous hand for an 1818 production. For an 1820 revival in Rome, Rossini wrote a bravura replacement, "La, del ciel nell'arcano profondo". The light, energetic overture has been in the standard repertoire since its premiere as La Cenerentola.

Performance history
19th century

At the first performance, the opera was received with some hostility, but it soon became popular throughout Italy and beyond; it reached Lisbon in 1819, London in 1820 and New York in 1826. Throughout most of the 19th century, its popularity rivalled that of Barber, but as the coloratura contralto, for which the role was originally written, became rare it fell slowly out of the repertoire.

20th century and beyond

However, from the 1960s onward, as Rossini enjoyed a renaissance, a new generation of Rossini mezzo-sopranos and contraltos ensured the renewed popularity of the work.

There are changes from the traditional fairy tale in La Cenerentola because Rossini opted for having a non-magical resolution to the story (unlike the original source), due to obvious limitations in the "special effects" available.

There are a number of recordings of the opera, and, as a staple of the standard operatic repertoire, it appears as number 28 on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide.

In this variation of the traditional Cinderella story, the wicked stepmother is replaced by a wicked stepfather, Don Magnifico. The Fairy Godmother is replaced by Alidoro, a philosopher and the Prince's tutor. Cinderella is identified not by her glass slipper but by her bracelet.

Time: Late 18th century – early 19th century
Place: Italy

Act 1

Angelina ("Cenerentola") is forced to work as the maid in the run-down house of her stepfather Don Magnifico. While his two mean, idle daughters, Clorinda and Tisbe, try on their gowns and jewelry, Cenerentola sings a ballad about a king who found his wife among common folk. A beggar comes calling. Clorinda and Tisbe want to send him away, but Cenerentola offers him bread and coffee. Courtiers arrive to announce that Prince Ramiro is looking for the most beautiful girl in the land to be his bride, and is on his way to pay them a visit. Prince Ramiro arrives, disguised as his own valet in order to observe the women without them knowing. He is immediately struck with admiration for Cenerentola and she for him. Cenerentola has to leave when her stepsisters call her. Don Magnifico enters and Ramiro tells him the Prince will arrive shortly. The "prince" is actually Dandini, Ramiro's valet in disguise. The stepsisters arrive and fawn gleefully over Dandini, who invites them to a ball at the Royal palace. Don Magnifico tells Cenerentola that she cannot accompany them to the ball, despite her pleading. Before leaving, Ramiro notices how badly Cenerentola is treated. His tutor, Alidoro, who had been at the house earlier disguised as the beggar, arrives still wearing his rags and asks for Don Magnifico's third daughter. Magnifico denies she is still alive, but when Alidoro is left alone with Cenerentola, he tells her that she will accompany him to the ball. He throws off his beggar's clothes and identifies himself as a member of Prince Ramiro's court, telling her that heaven will reward her pure heart.

The stepsisters and Don Magnifico arrive at Prince Ramiro's palace, with Dandini still posing as the Prince. Dandini offers Magnifico a tour of the wine cellar, hoping to get him drunk. He then disentangles himself from the family and tells Ramiro how stupid and obnoxious the two sisters are. Ramiro is confused since Alidoro had spoken well of one of Magnifico's daughters. Clorinda and Tisbe enter and impatiently pressure Dandini to declare his "princely" choice. Without committing himself, Dandini ponders the question "Whom will the rejected sister marry?" and suggests Ramiro as a possible husband. Believing him to be a mere valet, the two sisters reject Ramiro as a despicable choice and insult him to his face. Alidoro announces the arrival of an unknown, lavishly dressed yet veiled, lady (Cenerentola). All sense something familiar about her and feel they are in a dream but on the verge of being awakened with a shock.

Act 2
Don Magnifico, Clorinda, and Tisbe are in a room of Ramiro's palace. Magnifico frets over the unknown woman who threatens the chance for one of his daughters to marry Prince Ramiro. The three leave and Ramiro enters, smitten with the unknown woman who resembles the girl he had met that morning. He conceals himself as Dandini arrives with Cenerentola and tries to court her. She turns Dandini down politely, telling him that she is in love with his valet. Ramiro steps forth and declares his love for her. She then leaves giving him one of a pair of matching bracelets and saying that if he really cares for her, he will find her. Encouraged by Alidoro, Ramiro calls his men together to begin searching for her. Meanwhile, Dandini confesses to Don Magnifico that he is really Prince Ramiro's valet. Magnifico becomes highly indignant, and Dandini orders him out of the palace.

At Magnifico's house, Cenerentola, once again dressed in rags, is tending the fire and singing her ballad. Magnifico and his daughters return from the ball in a vile mood, and order Cenerentola to prepare their supper. A thunderstorm rages. Dandini suddenly appears at the door to say that Prince Ramiro's carriage has overturned outside and brings him into the house. Cenerentola fetches a chair for the prince and realizes he is Ramiro. He recognizes her bracelet and the couple are reunited. Don Magnifico, Clorinda and Tisbe are furious. Angered by their cruelty to Cenerentola, Ramiro threatens to punish them, but Cenerentola asks him to be merciful. As Cenerentola leaves with her prince, Alidoro thanks heaven for the happy outcome.

In the throne room of Ramiro's palace, Magnifico tries to curry favour with his stepdaughter, the new princess, but she only wants to be acknowledged as his daughter. Cenerentola asks the prince to forgive Magnifico and the two stepsisters. Her father and stepsisters embrace her as she declares that her days of toiling by the fire are over.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rossini - La Cenerentola (1981) - Complete opera
Angelina: Frederica Von Stade
Don Ramiro: Francisco Araiza
Don Magnífico: Paolo Montarsolo
Dandini: Claudio Desderi
Director: Claudio Abbado
Gioachino Rossini, 'La cenerentola' - ouverture - 1817
Teatro La Fenice - New Year's Concert 2006 (estratto)
Gioachino Rossini, 'La cenerentola' - ouverture

Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice
Kazushi Ono, direttore

"Moses in Egypt" - 1818
Mosè in Egitto (Moses in Egypt) (pronounced [moˈzɛ in eˈdʒitto]) is a three-act opera written by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola, which was based on a 1760 play by Francesco Ringhieri, L'Osiride. It premièred on 5 March 1818 at the recently reconstructed Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy.

In 1827 Rossini revised the work with a new title: Moïse et Pharaon, ou Le passage de la Mer Rouge (Moses and Pharaoh, or The Crossing of the Red Sea) (pronounced: [mɔiːz e faʁaɔ̃ u lə pasaːʒ də la mɛːʁ ʁuːʒ]). It was set to a four-act libretto written in French by Luigi Balocchi and Victor-Joseph Étienne de Jouy and the première was given by the Paris Opera at the Salle Le Peletier on 26 March the same year.

Riccardo Muti and many scholars consider Moïse et Pharaon, along with Guillaume Tell, to be among Rossini's greatest achievements:

I prefer it because Rossini himself preferred it. Don't get me wrong. Mosè in Egitto is a wonderful opera, but it remains very much a mere sketch for Moïse et Pharaon. And it's not just me who says that, but the great Rossini himself.

Composition history

Mosè in Egitto, 1818

The opera was loosely based on the Exodus from Egypt of the Israelites, led by Moses, rendered agreeable to the opera stage by introducing a love theme, in which the Pharaoh's son Amenophis plans to prevent their departure, since he loves the Israelite Anaïs.

The 1818 opera opens as the plague of darkness is dispelled by Moses' prayer, and it ends with the spectacle of the parting of the Red Sea and the drowning of Pharaoh's host, which "elicited howls of derision" at the clumsy machinery of its staging at the premiere, though the opera surmounted its technical failings and was a hit. Billed in 1818 as an azione tragico-sacra, the sacred drama with some features of the oratorio circumvented proscriptions of secular dramatic performances during Lent.

Rossini slightly revised the opera in 1819, when he introduced Moses' prayer-aria "Dal tuo stellato soglio", which became one of the most popular opera pieces of the day and which inspired a set of variations for violin and piano by Niccolò Paganini. Both survive in concert performance.

Moïse et Pharaon, 1827

The greatly enlarged work set to a French libretto was composed with so much additional music, including a substantial ballet, as to warrant a new title, Moïse et Pharaon, ou Le passage de la Mer Rouge (Moses and Pharaoh, or The Crossing of the Red Sea) (pronounced: [mɔiːz e faʁaɔ̃ u lə pasaːʒ də la mɛːʁ ʁuːʒ]), and was seen to be a separate and new opera alongside its Naples progenitor.

Performance history
Paris audiences had already seen Mosè in Egitto — both in a performance by the Paris Opéra at the Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique and at the Théâtre des Italiens — before Rossini revised it again, this time markedly, for the Paris Opéra.

Now in French in four acts, with a ballet, it premiered on 26 March 1827 under the title Moïse et Pharaon, ou Le Passage de la Mer Rouge. The first libretto from Naples was translated and augmented by Luigi Balocchi and Victor Joseph Etienne de Jouy, who would later co-write the libretto for Rossini's final opera Guillaume Tell. As is noted on Expatia, "this second version proved such a runaway box-office success that it was performed no less than 100 times between its premiere in 1827 and 1838".

20th century and beyond

The Rossini Opera Festival, in Rossini's home town of Pesaro, has presented the opera periodically since 1980, beginning with a 1983 production by Pier Luigi Pizzi and revived in 1985. It did not re-appear until 2011 when it was seen in a production by Graham Vick.

It has been suggested in the magazine, Opera, that Mosè had "remained virtually unheard in Britain since a concert in 1822", a production was staged by Welsh National Opera in the 1964/5 season in Cardiff, Llandudno and London. WNO staged it again in 2014 in Cardiff and on tour. Also, London's Royal Opera House gave it in May/June 1994.

In the US, Mosè in Egitto had not been heard in Chicago since 1865, but it was presented in that city by Chicago Opera Theater in 2010[10] and given by New York City Opera in April 2013. As part of its autumn 2014 season given in Cardiff and on tour, it was presented in October/November by Welsh National Opera.

As Moise et Pharaon it was given at La Scala in 2003, and again as part of the 2009 Salzburg Festival under Muti.

The score calls for: 2 Flutes/2 Piccolos, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 2 trumpets, 3 Trombones, Serpent, Timpani, Bass Drum, cymbals, Triangle, Banda Turca, Harp, Strings.

Onstage: Band (Piccolo, Quartino, 4 Clarinets, 2 Horns, 4 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Serpent, Bass Drum)

Act 1 set design of the original 1827 production

Place: Egypt
Time: Around 1230 B.C.

Act 1
Darkness envelopes Egypt. It has been brought about by God in order to punish the Pharaoh and his people because he has failed to allow the Hebrews to leave the country for the Promised Land across the Red Sea. Moses is brought in and the Pharaoh declares that, when the sun shines again, he will release the captives. Cautioned by his brother Aaron not to believe the Egyptian leader, nevertheless Moses pleads to God and light returns.

However, because the Pharaoh's son Osiride is in love with the Hebrew girl Elcia and does not want to see her leave with her people, he persuades the High Priest, Mambre, to help him. The Priest does not believe in Moses' powers and he agrees to find a way to prevent the exodus by encouraging the Egyptians to revolt against allowing the Hebrews to depart. The Pharaoh then withdraws his promise and warns Moses that any Hebrew who tries to escape will be killed. Amaltea, Pharaoh's wife, has secretly converted and she tries to intervene, but to no avail. Moses then threatens further punishment and is set upon by Osiride's soldiers, intent upon killing him, but Pharaoh arrives in time to prevent it. Moses then prays for fire to rain down upon the country.

Act 2
Pharaoh orders the Hebrews to leave at once, so as to avoid the curse placed on his people. Then, telling his son that he has negotiated a treaty whereby Osiride will be married to the Princess of Armenia, he does not understand why his son hears his announcement with little enthusiasm.

Shortly afterwards, Moses learns that Osiris has kidnapped Elcia, but Aaron knows where they are hiding. Amalthea is warned and accompanies him to find the lovers.

Together in the cave, Osiris tells Elcia of his father's plans for him and he suggests that they can live together in hiding in the countryside. The Queen with her guards and Aaron interrupt the two lovers, but they refuse to separate and Osiris declares that it intends to give up the throne.

Meanwhile, the Pharaoh once again reverses himself and states that he will not allow the captives to leave, fearing that the Hebrews will support Egypt's enemies. Outraged, Moses declares that the Crown Prince and all the firstborn males of the country will be hit by a divine lightning strike. Pharaoh orders Moses to be put in chains, and, to protect his son from the prophecy, declares Osiris to be his co-ruler and that he will be the one to proclaim the death sentence on Moses. Elcia then comes forward revealing her relationship with Osiris and begging him to free Moses and his people. She tries to persuade him to accept his destiny and marry the royal princess of Armenia. But Osiris remains adamant and immediately orders that Moses be killed. As he does so, he falls dead from being struck by a bolt of lightning.

Act 3 of the original 1827 production

Act 3

On the shores of the Red Sea

Having crossed the desert, the Hebrews arrive on the shores of the Red Sea, but find themselves unable to continue their journey to the Promised Land. Leading is people and telling them to wait for God's action, he prays. However, as the advancing Egyptians appear, the Hebrews are panicked, but Moses touches the waters with his staff and the Red Sea opens to provide a pathway to the opposite shore. Following closely behind, the Egyptians, led by Mamre and Pharaoh, enter the gap in the waters but they are swamped by the waves which close over them.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mose' in Egitto - Rossini - Napoli - 1993
Mose................................Robe­rto Scandiuzzi
Faraone.................................­.Michele Pertusi
Amaltea.................................­...Gloria Scalchi
Elcia...................................­.......Mariella Devia
Osiride.................................­....Rockwell Blake
Aronne..................................­...Ezio di Cesare
Amenofi.............................Anto­nella Trevisan
Mambre..................................­Enrico Cossutta
Musica di Gioachino Rossini
Libretto di Andrea Leone Tottolа
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro di San Carlo
Maestro direttore - Salvatore Accardo
Maestro del Coro - Giacomo Maggiore
Moïse - Samuel Ramey
Éliézer - Jean Dupouy
Pharaon - Jean-Philippe Lafont
Aménophis - Keith Lewis
Aufide - Robert Dumé
Osiride - Fernand Dumont
Marie - Magali Damonte
Anaï - Cecilia Gasdia
Sinaïde - Shirley Verrett

Conductor - Georges Prêtre
Orchestra - L'Opéra de Paris
Chorus - L'Opéra de Paris

Rossini: Mosè / Mózes - Dal tuo stellato soglio (Cs. Airizer, A. Lantsov, M. Szűcs, I. Tas)
Gioachino Rossini: Mosè / Moïse et Pharaon / Mózes
Dal tuo stellato soglio

Sung in Italian

Mosé - Csaba Airizer
Elisero - Andrej Lantsov
Anaìde - Márta Szűcs
Maria - Ildikó Tas

Conductor / vezényel: Lamberto Gardelli

Hungarian State Opera House / Magyar Állami Operaház

Gioachino Rossini - Mose in Egitto - "Involto in fiamma" (June Anderson, Ernesto Palacio, Zehava Gal & Salvatore Fisichella)
Gioacchino Rossini - Semiramide - Overture - 1824
Semiramide is an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto by Gaetano Rossi is based on Voltaire's tragedy Semiramis, which in turn was based on the legend of Semiramis of Babylon.The opera was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on February 3, 1823.
"William Tell" - 1829
William Tell (French: Guillaume Tell, Italian: Guglielmo Tell) is an opera in four acts by Gioachino Rossini, with a French libretto by Étienne de Jouy and Hippolyte Bis based on Friedrich Schiller's play William Tell, which drew on the William Tell legend. This opera was Rossini's last, even though the composer lived for nearly forty more years. The overture, featuring a depiction of a storm and with its famous finale, "March Of The Swiss Soldiers," is a major part of the concert and recording repertoire.

Charles Malherbe, archivist at the Paris Opéra, discovered the original orchestral score of the opera at a secondhand book seller's shop, resulting in its being acquired by the Paris Conservatoire.

Performance history

It was first performed by the Paris Opéra at the Salle Le Peletier on 3 August 1829, but within three performances cuts were being made and after a year only three acts were performed. The opera's length, roughly four hours of music, and casting requirements, such as the high range required for the tenor part, have contributed to the difficulty of producing the work. When performed, the opera is often cut. Performances have been given in both French and Italian. Political concerns have also contributed to the varying fortunes of the work.

In Italy, because the work glorified a revolutionary figure against authority, the opera encountered difficulties with the Italian censors, and the number of productions in Italy was limited. The Teatro San Carlo produced the opera in 1833, but then did not give another production for around 50 years. The first Venice production, at the Teatro La Fenice, was not until 1856. By contrast, in Vienna, in spite of censorship problems there, the Vienna Court Opera gave 422 performances over the years 1830–1907. As Hofer, or the Tell of the Tyrol, the opera was first given in at Drury Lane in London on 1 May 1830 (in English), with a production in Italian following in 1839 at Her Majesty's, and in French at Covent Garden in 1845. In New York, William Tell was first presented on 19 September 1831. It was revived at the Metropolitan Opera in 1923 with Ponselle and Martinelli, and there were revivals during the 1930s in Milan, Rome, Paris, Berlin and Florence. When the opera was performed at Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona) in 1893, an anarchist threw two Orsini bombs in the theatre.

In the later 20th century there were major productions in Florence (1972), Geneva (1979, 1991), La Scala (1988), Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (1989), Covent Garden (1990), and then Opéra Bastille (2003) as well as at the Sportspalace in Pesaro (lasting over 5 hours, 1995). In 2010 there was an important revival of the opera, when it opened the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia's season, under Antonio Pappano. This performance was of the French version, with some cuts to particularly the fourth act (which Pappano noted had been approved by Rossini himself). A live recording of this concert performance was released in 2011, and the production was transferred to The Proms in July of that year, with Michele Pertusi taking on the title role, Patricia Bardon as Hedwige, Nicolas Courjal as Gessler, and Mark Stone as Leuthold. The performance was very well reviewed, and marked the first full performance of the work in the history of the Proms. According to an anecdote, when an admirer told the composer that he had heard his opera the previous night, Rossini replied "What? The whole of it?". Another version of the story refers only to Act II. In 1864 Offenbach quoted the patriotic trio from Act 2 in La Belle Hélène
« Lorsque la Grèce est un champ de carnage».

Today, the opera is remembered mostly for its famous overture. Its high-energy finale, "March Of The Swiss Soldiers," is particularly familiar through its use in the American radio and television shows of The Lone Ranger. Several portions of the overture were used prominently in the films A Clockwork Orange and The Eagle Shooting Heroes; in addition, Dmitri Shostakovich quotes the main theme of the finale in the first movement of his 15th symphony. The overture has four parts, each linked to the next:

The Prelude (Dawn) is written only for the cello section (including parts for five soloists), the double basses, and the timpani, in a slow tempo and in E major.
The Storm is a dynamic section played by the full orchestra, with backup from the trombones, in E minor.
The Ranz des Vaches, or call to the dairy cows, features the cor anglais (English horn) and the flute. It is in G major.
The Finale (March Of The Swiss Soldiers) is an ultra-dynamic "cavalry charge" galop heralded by horns and trumpets, and is played by the full orchestra in E major.


The instrumentation is:

Woodwinds: a piccolo, a flute, 2 oboes (1st doubles cor anglais), 2 clarinets in A and 2 bassoons.
Brass: 4 horns (2 in G and 2 in E), 2 trumpets in E, 3 trombones.
Percussion: 2 timpani, triangle, bass drum and cymbals.
Strings: first violins, second violins, viola, violoncelli and double basses; harp


Place: Austrian-occupied Switzerland
Time: 13th century

Act 1
By the shore of Lake Lucerne, at Bürglen in the canton of Uri

It is the day of the Shepherd Festival, in May, near Lake Lucerne. The action opens on an idyllic scene, with the local peasants busily preparing chalets for three newly wedded couples, singing as they work (Quel jour serein le ciel présage – "What a serene day the sky foretells"). The fisherman, Ruodi, sings a gentle love song from his boat (to orchestral accompaniment from the harps and flutes). William Tell stands apart from the general merriment, however: he is consumed with ennui at Switzerland's continued oppression (Il chante, et l'Helvétie pleure sa liberté – "He sings, and Helvetia mourns her liberty"). His wife and son add their own interpretation of Ruodi's song, presaging the coming nautical dramas.

The activities are interrupted by the ranz des vaches resounding from the hills (often performed by off-stage horns, and echoing in its theme the ranz de vaches in the opera's overture). The horns also signal the arrival of Melchthal, a respected elder of the canton. He is persuaded by Hedwige to bless the couples at the celebration. However, his son Arnold, though of marriageable age, is not participating and is evidently uncomfortable. The entire on-stage cast sings in celebration (Célebrons tous en ce beau jour, le travail, l'hymen et l'amour – "Let all celebrate, on this glorious day, work, marriage and love"). Tell invites Melchthal into his chalet; before they move off, Melchthal chides his son for his failure to marry.

His father's rebuke provokes an outpouring of despair from Arnold: in his recitative we learn of his previous service in the forces of the Austrian rulers, his rescue of Mathilde from an avalanche, and the conflict between his love for her and his shame at serving the "perfidious power". Horn fanfares herald the approach of Gesler, the Austrian governor, whom the Swiss detest, and his entourage. Arnold moves off to greet their arrival, as Mathilde will accompany them, but is stopped by Tell. Inquiring as to where Arnold is going, Tell persuades him to consider joining the planned rebellion against the governor. The expressive duet in which this takes place again shows the tension Arnold feels between his love for Mathilde and the "fatherland" (Ah! Mathilde, idole de mon âme!...Ô ma patrie, mon cœur te sacrifie... – "Ah, Mathilde, idol of my soul...O my fatherland, my heart sacrifices to you..."). By the end of the exchange, Arnold is prepared to confront Gesler the moment he arrives; Tell persuades him to at least let the festival pass in peace, but knows he has gained a convert to the cause of freedom.

The villagers then reassemble, and Melchthal blesses the couples. The blessing is followed by singing, dancing and an archery contest that Tell's young son Jemmy wins with his first shot – a result of his "paternal heritage". It is Jemmy who notices the hurried approach of the pale, trembling and wounded shepherd, Leuthold, who killed one of Gesler's soldiers to defend his daughter and is fleeing the governor's forces. He seeks to escape to the opposite shore, but the cowardly Ruodi refuses to take him in his boat, fearing that the current and the rocks make approaching the opposite bank impossible. Tell returns from searching for the departed Arnold just in time: even as the soldiers approach, calling for Leuthold's blood, Tell takes Leuthold into the boat and out onto the water. Gesler’s guards arrive, led by Rodolphe, who is further incensed by the villagers' prayers and their evident joy at the escape. Melchthal urges the villagers not to tell Rodolphe who it was who aided Leuthold, and is taken prisoner by the guards. As Rodolphe and the soldiers promise retribution (Que du ravage, que du pillage sur ce rivage pèse l'horreur!), Tell's family and friends take comfort in Tell's skills as an archer, which will surely save them.

Act 2
On the heights of Rütli, overlooking the Lake and the Cantons

A hunting party of ladies and gentlemen, accompanied by soldiers, hears the sound of the shepherds returning from the hills as night approaches. Hearing the Governor's horns, they too take their leave. Mathilde, however, lingers, believing she has glimpsed Arnold in the vicinity. She is, like Arnold, anguished by the love she feels for her rescuer, and contemplates it as she sings (Sombre forêt, désert triste et sauvage – "Somber forest, sad and savage wilderness"). Arnold appears, and each confesses to the other their desire for this meeting. In their duet (Oui, vous l'arrachez à mon âme – "Yes, you wring from my soul"), they recognise their mutual passion, but also the obstacles they face. Urging him to "return to the fields of glory", Mathilde assures him of the eventual acceptability of his suit, and leaves at the approach of Tell and Walter. They question Arnold as to why he loves Mathilde, a member of the oppressing Austrians. Arnold, offended by their spying, declares his intention to continue fighting for the Austrians, and thus gain glory, rather than liberty. However, when Walter tells him that Gesler has executed his father Melchthal, Arnold vows revenge (Qu'entends-je? ô crime! – "What do I hear? O crime!").

As the three men affirm their dedication – "to independence or death" – they hear the sound of someone else approaching. It is the men of the canton of Unterwalden coming to join the fight, and describing their journey in a rather gentle refrain (Nous avons su braver). In quick succession, they are joined by the men of Schwyz (En ces temps de malheurs) and Uri (Guillaume, tu le vois). The gathering is complete, and the tone and tempo of the finale rises as the men of the three cantons affirm their willingness to fight or die for the freedom of Switzerland (Jurons, jurons par nos dangers – "Let us swear, let us swear by our dangers"). Plans are made to arm the cantons and to rise up when "the beacons of vengeance burn".

Act 3
Scene 1: A ruined/deserted chapel in the Altdorf palace grounds

Arnold has come to tell Mathilde that, instead of leaving for battle, he is staying to avenge his father, and thereby renouncing both glory and Mathilde. When he tells her that it was Gesler who had his father executed, she denounces his crime, and recognises the impossibility of their love (Pour notre amour, plus d'espérance – "All hope for our love has gone"). Hearing preparations for the coming festival in the palace grounds, they bid a fond farewell to each other (Sur la rive étrangère – "Though upon a foreign shore").

Scene 2: The main square at Altdorf

The day is the hundredth anniversary of Austrian rule in Switzerland. Soldiers sing of the glories of Gesler and the Emperor. In commemoration, Gesler has had his hat placed on top of a pole and the Swiss are ordered and then forced to pay homage to the hat. Gesler commands that there should be dancing and singing to mark the century during which the empire has "deigned to sustain [Swiss] weakness", and a variety of dances and choruses follow. Soldiers have noticed Tell and his son in the crowd, refusing to pay homage to the hat, and drag him forward. Rodolphe recognises him as the man who assisted in Leuthold's escape, and Gesler orders his arrest. In a complex choir and quartet, the soldiers express their hesitation at arresting this famed archer (C'est là cet archer redoutable – "It's that redoubtable archer"), Gesler forces them to act, and Tell urges Jemmy to flee, but he prefers to stay with his father.

Gesler notices the affection Tell has for his son, and has Jemmy seized. Inspired, he devises his test: Tell must shoot an arrow through an apple balanced on Jemmy's head – should he refuse, both of them will die. The assembled Swiss are horrified at this cruelty, but Jemmy urges his father to courage, and refuses to be tied up for the challenge. Resigned, Tell retrieves his bow from the soldiers, but takes two arrows from his quiver and hides one of them. He sings an anguished aria to Jemmy, instructing him (Sois immobile – "Stay completely still"), and the two separate. Finally, Tell draws his bow, shoots, and drives the arrow through the apple and into the stake. The people acclaim his victory, and Gesler is enraged. Noticing the second arrow, he demands to know what Tell intended for it. Tell confesses his desire to kill Gesler with the second arrow, and both he and Jemmy are seized for execution.

Mathilde enters and claims Jemmy in the name of the emperor, refusing to let a child die (Vous ne l'obtiendrez pas – "You will not have him"). Gesler announces his intention to take Tell across Lake Lucerne to the fort at Kusnac/Küssnacht, and there to throw him to the reptiles in the lake. Rodolphe expresses concern at attempting a journey on the lake in the storm, but Gesler intends to force Tell, an expert boatman, to pilot the vessel. They leave, amid conflicting cries of "Anathema on Gesler" from the people, and "Long live Gesler" from the soldiers.

Act 4
Scene 1: Old Melchthal's house

Arnold, aware of Tell's arrest, is dispirited, but, set on revenge, draws strength from being in his father's former home and sings a moving lament (Ne m'abandonne point, espoir de la vengeance... Asile héréditaire... – "Do not abandon me, hope of vengeance... Home of my forefathers"). Would-be "confederates" arrive, sharing and reinforcing his hope of vengeance. Revived, Arnold points them to the weapons cache that his father and Tell had prepared. Seeing the men armed, Arnold launches into the hugely demanding (Amis, amis, secondez ma vengeance – "Friends, friends, assist my vengeance"), replete with multiple and sustained top Cs. Resolved, they leave to storm Altdorf and free Tell.

Scene 2: The rocky shore of Lake Lucerne

Hedwige is wandering by the lake, distraught. She tells the other women she intends to beg Gesler for Tell's life. In the distance, she hears Jemmy calling. Her son enters, along with Mathilde, whom Hedwige entreats for assistance. In some versions, Mathilde, Jemmy and Hedwige sing a moving trio (Je rends a votre amour un fils digne de vous – "I return to your love a son worthy of you"). Jemmy tells his mother that Tell is no longer in Altdorf, but on the lake, at which point Hedwige begins precipitously to mourn (Sauve Guillaume! Il meurt victime de son amour pour son pays – "Save William! He died a victim of his love for his country"). Leuthold arrives, telling the assembled villagers that the boat carrying Tell, Gesler and the soldiers is being driven towards the rocks by a storm that has broken over the lake – Leuthold believes that the chains have been removed from Tell's hands, so that he might pilot the boat to safety.

The boat pulls into view, and Tell jumps ashore before pushing the boat back. He is amazed to see his house burning in the distance. Jemmy tells him that, for want of a beacon, he set fire to their home but, before doing so, he retrieved his father's bow and arrows. Gesler and the soldiers come into view, intent on recapturing Tell, who kills Gesler with a single shot and the cry, "Let Switzerland breathe!" Walter and a group of confederates arrive, having seen the burning house. Tell informs them of Gesler's death, but cautions that Altdorf still stands. Arnold and his band enter, and break the happy news: they have taken Altdorf. Arnold sees Mathilde, who declares herself "disabused of false grandeur" and ready to join the fight for liberty at his side.

The clouds break, and the sun shines on a pastoral scene of wild beauty. The gathered Swiss fighters and women sing a paean to the magnificence of nature and the return of freedom in a lyrical C major (Tout change et grandit en ces lieux... Liberté, redescends des cieux – "Everything is changing and growing grander in this place... Liberty, descend again from heaven") as the ranz des vaches motif returns once again and finally.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ROSSINI: William Tell - Overture - 1829
William Tell Overture (1829)

London Philharmonic, Alfred Scholz

Gioachino Rossini - Matilde di Shabran - "Ah! Capisco! Non parlate" (Annick Massis, Juan Diego Florez, Bruno de Simone & Carlo Lepore)
"La cambiale di matrimonio" - 1810
La cambiale di matrimonio (The Bill of Marriage or The Marriage Contract) is a one-act operatic farsa comica by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Gaetano Rossi. The libretto was based on the play by Camillo Federici (1791) and a previous libretto by Giuseppe Checcherini for Carlo Coccia's 1807 opera, Il matrimonio per lettera di cambio. The opera debuted on 3 November 1810 at the Teatro San Moisè in Venice

Composed in a few days when he was 18 years old, La cambiale di matrimonio was Rossini's first professional opera. The overture, written when he was a student at the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, is an important part of the modern concert repertoire. As was to become typical of his later career, the duet "Dunque io son" was later reused, to greater effect, in act 1 of The Barber of Seville.

The opera opens on the servants Norton and Clarina discussing a letter which has arrived for their master, Tobias Mill, regarding an impending marriage contract from a Canadian businessman, Slook, who is due to arrive later that day. Mill enters, flustered from calculating the distance from the Americas to Europe, and orders the household to prepare for Slook's arrival, including the readying of his daughter, Fanny, whom he intends to marry off to the foreigner. Fanny arrives after everyone leaves with her lover, Eduardo Milfort; their love has been kept a secret from Mill due to Eduardo's poor financial status. Norton arrives to inform the lovers of the impending marriage contract but their conversation is interrupted by Mill's entrance as the carriage arrives bearing the Canadian.

Slook enters harassed by the servants who are trying to take his coat - he is clearly unaccustomed to European greetings. Mill encourages Slook to talk to Fanny and to get to know her - she remains quite hostile, trying to express her disinterest in marrying him with many "but's" but is soon joined by Eduardo and they both threaten to cut out Slook's eyes and puncture his veins. Slook departs to the safety of his room, Fanny and Eduardo to other quarters, as Clarina and Norton return. Clarina expresses her experiences with love in a short aria before Slook comes back and Norton informs him that the goods he is interested in acquiring are already mortgaged.

Slook, infuriated by this contractual double-crossing, refuses to buy Fanny and tells Mill this, but refuses to give a reason fearing retribution from the lovers. Mill then threatens Slook to a duel for refusing to carry through with the contract he has incurred - Slook prepares to leave having encountered three people who wish him dead within hours of his arrival in London. When he returns from packing his things, he sees Fanny and Eduardo embracing and catches them red-handed. They inform him of Mill's business-managerial sentiments toward marriage and of Eduardo's poor financial status; Slook responds by promising to make Eduardo his heir so that Fanny may be his.

Mill returns and prepares for his duel - though he fears that if he dies, it may reflect poorly upon his reputation in the market. Slook reveals himself and clandestinely replaces a peace pipe for a pistol which Mill grabs not realizing what it is. As they head to the field of battle (Slook armed with a pistol, Mill with a pipe), the ensemble rushes on and tries to convince Mill to give up the financial pretence. Finally Slook convinces Mill to let them marry and the opera concludes happily.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rossini - La cambiale di matrimonio, Overture
""La Cambiale Di Matrimonio": Sinfonia"

by Bruno Praticò, Alessandra Rossi, Maurizio Comencini, Bruno de Simone
Gioachino Rossini - Stabat Mater (1841)
Stabat Mater (1841)

1. Introduzione - Stabat mater
2. Aria: Cujus animan (tenor) 9:01
3. Duetto: Quis est homo (soprano I&II) 14:41
4. Aria: Pro peccatis (bass) 20:43
5. Recitativo: Eja mater (bass & chorus) 24:49
6. Quartetto: Sancta mater (29:02)
7. Cavatina: Fac ut portem (soprano II) 35:03
8. Aria: Inflammatus et (soprano I & chorus) 39:51
9. Quartetto a cappella: Quando corpus (43:32)
10. Finale: In sempiterna saccula (chorus) 49:19

Cecilia Gasdia, soprano
Margarita Zimmermann, mezzo-soprano
Chris Merritt, tenor
José Garcia, bass
The Ambrosian Singers and I Solisti Veneti conducted by Claudio Scimone

Stabat Mater is based on the traditional structure of the Stabat Mater for chorus and soloists. Initially he used his own librettos and compositions for a portion of the work and, eventually, the remainder by Giovanni Tadolini, who composed six additional movements. Rossini presented the completed work to Varela as his own. It was composed late in his career after retiring from the composition of opera. He began the work in 1831 but did not complete it until 1841.

In 1831 Rossini was traveling in Spain in the company of his friend the Spanish banker, Alexandre Aguado, owner of Château Margaux. In the course of the trip, Fernández Varela, a state councillor, commissioned a setting of the traditional liturgical text, the Stabat Mater. Rossini managed to complete part of the setting of the sequence in 1832, but ill-health made it impossible for him to complete the commission. Having written only half the score (nos. 1 and 5-9), he asked his friend Giovanni Tadolini to compose six additional movements. Rossini presented the completed work to Varela as his own. It was premiered on Holy Saturday of 1833 in the Chapel of San Felipe el Real in Madrid, but this version was never again performed.

When Varela died, his heirs sold the work for 2,000 francs to a Parisian music publisher, Antoine Aulagnier, who printed it. Rossini protested, claiming that he had reserved publication rights for himself, and disowned Aulagnier's version, since it included the music by Tadolini. Although surprised by this, Aulangier went ahead and arranged for a public performance at the Salle Herz on October 31, 1841, at which only the six pieces by Rossini were performed. In fact, Rossini had already sold the publication rights for 6,000 francs to another Paris publisher, Eugène Troupenas. Lawsuits ensued, and Troupenas emerged the victor. Rossini finished the work, replacing the music by Tadolini, before the end of 1841. The brothers Léon and Marie Escudier, who had purchased the performing rights of Rossini's final version of the score from Troupenas for 8,000 francs, sold them to the director of the Théâtre-Italien for 20,000 francs, who began making preparations for its first performance.

Rossini's extensive operatic career had divided the public into admirers and critics. The announcement of the premiere of Rossini's Stabat Mater provided an occasion for a wide-ranging attack by Richard Wagner, who was in Paris at the time, not only on Rossini but more generally on the current European fashion for religious music and the money to be made from it. A week before the scheduled concert Robert Schumann's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik carried the pseudonymous essay, penned by Wagner under the name of "H. Valentino", in which he claimed to find Rossini's popularity incomprehensible:

"It is extraordinary! So long as this man lives, he'll always be the mode." Wagner concluded his polemic with the following observation: "That dreadful word: Copyright—growls through the scarce laid breezes. Action! Action! Once more, Action! And money is fetched out, to pay the best of lawyers, to get documents produced, to enter caveats.— — —O ye foolish people, have ye lost your hiking for your gold? I know somebody who for five francs will make you five waltzes, each of them better than that misery of the wealthy master's!"
At the time when Wagner wrote this, he was still in his late twenties and he had not yet had much success with the acceptance of his own music in the French capital

Publisher Info.:
Mainz: B. Schott fils, n.d.[1842]. Plate 6590.

Public Domain

Misc. Notes:
Biblioteca Fondazione Rossini Pesaro

Rossini: Stabat Mater - Giulini - (1981 Live)
Stabat Mater
Carlo Maria Giulini
Philharmonia Orchestra
Royal Albert Hall, London, 23 8/1981
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