Born in the Italian town of Pesaro on the Adriatic coast in 1792, Gioachino Rossini grew up in a musical household. His mother was a singer, his father a horn player, and from an early age he showed promise as a musician and composer. He also showed an early affinity for Mozart, even acquiring the nickname “the little German” while studying music at the Conservatorio di Bologna as a teenager.
Rossini went on to write 39 operas, with The Barber of Seville and Guillaume Tell among his best-known works. Because of his tendency to incorporate song-like melodies into his score, he continued to inspire comparisons with Mozart, who had died of illness at age 35 the year prior to Rossini’s birth.
As part of its Government House Concert series the Regina Symphony Orchestra is presenting this salute to Rossini Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. I’m not sure what works will be on the program, but compositions by Barber and Bruckner will also be featured. More information can be found at the RSO website.
To give you a sense of what to expect I was sorely tempted to go with the intro to the Lone Ranger TV show which uses part of Rossini’s famous overture from Guillaume Tell, or the hilarious Bugs Bunny cartoon Rabbit of Seville. The latter was blocked by copyright, though, and the former was a bit too disconnected from Rossini’s life and times to be appropriate. So here’s Figaro’s aria from an uncredited production of The Barber of Seville: