Gioachino Rossini was born in a family devoted to music. He was a child prodigy and at the tender age of six, he started playing triangle in his father’s band. Since both his parents were involved in operas, Rossini had a direct exposure to this world. He composed his first opera, “La cambiale di matrimonio”, at the age of 18. He produced some exceptional operas, like “La pietra del paragone and Il signor Bruschino”, which were notable for their musical excellence. “The Barber of Seville”, which immortalized him in the minds of music aspirants all over the world, is considered as his masterpiece. He was a fast composer and inexhaustible too! His ‘The Barber of Seville’ is said to have been composed in just twelve days. His compositions demanded dexterity of the opera singers of his time. He was known to be innovative and influenced generations of opera composers. Read the following section to learn more about this musical maestro.
Gioachino Rossini was born in Pesaro, Italy on February 29, 1792. His father, Giuseppe was a famous trumpeter of the town and also worked as an inspector of slaughterhouses while his mother was a singer. Rossini started to play triangle in his father’s bandat a young age of six. Rossini’s father was associated with Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops during the French Revolution, and was prisoned when the old Austrian regime restored. His mother then took Rossini to Bologna and his father joined them after he was freed in 1800.
Under the supervision of Angelo Tesei, Rossini learned piano. He also sang well and started singing solo parts in the church, at the age of ten. He began to compose string sonatas, at the age of twelve. His first exposure to theatre was in 1805 as a singer in Fedinando Paer’s, ‘Camilla’. Rossini composed his first opera when he was fourteen, however it was staged six or seven years later and premiered as his sixth official opera. In 1807, Rossini was enrolled in the counterpoint class of Padre P.S. Mattei, and then, he learnt cello from Cavedagni, in Bologna. He learned cello with ease, but did not like the strictness with which he was taught counterpoint by Mattei. Rossini was called ‘il Tedeschino’, meaning ‘the little German’, owing to his devotion to Mozart.
- Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)
- La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder)
- Il Signor Bruschino
- L’italiana in Algeri ( The Italian Girl in Algiers)
- Il Turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy)
- La Cenerentola (Cinderella)
- La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie)
- Petite Messe solennelle – composed for 12 solo voices, two pianos and harmonium.
- Stabat mater – for chorus and soloists.
GIOACHINO ROSSINI TIMELINE
Rossini was born in Pesaro, Italy
Went to Bologna with his mother after his father was imprisoned.
His first appearance as a singer in the theatre of Commune.
Rossini became a student under Cavedagni for learning cello.
His first opera ‘La cambiale di matrimonio’ was produced.
‘Tancredi’ and ‘L'italiana in Algeri’ brought him international fame
Rossini returned to Bologna and became the musical director of ‘Teatro di San Carlo’ and the ‘Teatro del Fondo’ in Naples.
He composed ‘Il barbiere di Siviglia’ (The Barber of Seville), his best opera ever.
He married Isabella Colbran.
Rossini was invited to England and became the musical director of ‘Théâtre des Italiens’ in Paris.
He produced ‘Guillaume Tell’, the last of his operas and returned to Bologna.
The first six compositions of ‘Stabat Mater’ were written by Rossini.
The death of his first wife.
His re-marriage to ‘Olympe Pélissier’ took place.
He died of pneumonia in his house at Passey.
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