Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 23 >> Romney to Rump Parliament >> Rossini_P1

Rossini

opera, produced, wrote, composed, operas, musical, theatre and composer

Page: 1 2

ROSSINI, Gioachimo Antonio, jo-A-Ice' mo r8s-se'ne, Italian composer: b. Pesaro, 29 Feb. 1792; d. Passy, near Paris, 13 Nov. 1868. He was born of poor parents, and 'when only 10 was able to support his mother by singing solos in, church. He also took the part of Adolfo In Paer's at the theatre of the Commune — his only ap pearance as a dramatic singer. He began his musical studies with his parents, but later he studied composition and counterpoint under Testi and Maffei, both of Bologna. His first opera, was composed be fore his studies under the latter, and even at that stage of his career he had mastered the art of imbuing his music with feeling. His first public appearance as a dramatic composer was at Vienna in 1810, when his opera (La Cambriale di Matrimonio> was performed. Successful though it was, it did not contain any definite evidence of power to assert a new school or create a radical change in style. It had been preceded in 1808 by Pianto d'Ar monia per la Morte d'Orfeo,) a cantata, which gained the prize at the Liceo and was performed in public on 8 August of that year. His next composition was abbandonata' a can tata, followed by an opera buffs, (L'Equivoco which brought him fresh triumphs. Early in 1812 he produced two comic operas, fence) and each of which contained several songs full of force and origi nal melody. He attempted one oratorio, (Ciro in Babilonia,' which unhippily proved a failure. In the autumn of 1812 he wrote a musical two act comedy, (La Pietra del Paragone,) produced at the Scala with immense success. In the finale occurs the first instance of his employment of the crescendo, for which he became famous later, and which Mosca declared had been bor rowed from his own containing the charming trio (Papataci) and the patriotic air (Pensa alla Patria.' During the next two years Rossini wrote eight operas, including the well-known (Barbiere di Siviglia) and his next opera, has been styled a asystem of word painting.* His next notable compositions were

di Borgogna' (or for the San Carlo in Naples, an opera full of ornament. His (La Donna del Lago' seemed to show that Scott's works were becom ing popular even in Italy. In this opera and others that followed, such as (Maometto,' (Zel mira,) etc., it was plain that Ros sini was half a century ahead of his day. His style was changing; his gaiety had disappeared,• he was becoming serious. He now visited England, on the invitation of the manager of the King's Theatre in London, to write an opera for that house, to be called (La Figlia der Aria,' for which he was to receive about $1,200. He arrived in London in December 1823, with his wife, Isabella Coibran, a, singer, to whom he had been married about two veers, and while there was much lionized. He acted as accompanist at numerous soirees, gave several concerts, singing the solos on two occasions in a cantata which he had composed for the occa sion under the title to Lord Byron,' and in five months had acquired nearly $35,000. He then undertook the musical direction of the Theatre Italien in Paris for 18 months at a salary of about $4,000 a year. He here repro duced some of his operas, for example, 'La Donna del Lago,> 'Zelmira,> etc, and also brought out a new one— (II Viagmo a Reims, ossia I'Albergo del Giglio composed for the coronation fetes of Charles X. The sinecure positions of °Premier compositeur du and "Inspecteur General du Chant en France,)) were now given him, with an annual income of 20,000 francs, or about $4,000. He then revised the music of 'Maometto,' brought out under the title Siege de Corinthe,) and also reproduced (Mose,' with many improve ments and additions, some of the interpolated airs being taken from 'Armida> and in Babilonia.> He next resolved to try his skill at lyric opera and adapted to the 'Le Comte Ory> some of his favorite music in the (II Viaggio a Reims,' but it is said that the best part of the drinking chorus was borrowed from Beetho ven's Eighth Symphony, His next opera, com monly regarded as his masterpiece, was 'Guil laume Tell,' which was produced at the Acad emie on 3 Aug. 1829.

Page: 1 2