Opera madness

Gioachino Rossini died 150 years ago

His appearance on the Italian opera scene heralded a new era. Gioachino Rossini’s stage works – numbering over fifty – thrilled his fellow countrymen and before long the entire world. Today as well, they are regularly featured in the world’s opera houses and an increasing number of operas which hitherto have not enjoyed the popularity of the “Barbiere di Siviglia” or “La Cenerentola” are also being rediscovered. These include “Le comte Ory”, for example, published as part of Bärenreiter’s selected edition “Works og Gioachino Rossini“, which is in its eleventh year now. The performance material has been used in fourteen new productions since 2011, including in Milan, Paris and Vienna. The Barbier has even been staged 31 times since 2008.

Rossini stopped composing opera music after a mere twenty years and subsequently wrote only occasional works. That he was a rich man and gourmet is well known; that he swapped his pen for a wooden spoon should probably be consigned to the realms of legend.

The composer from Pesaro died on 13 November 150 years ago.