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Gioachino Rossini - Biography

opera bologna father age

Early years

Gioachino Rossini was born in Pesaro, a town on the coast of Italy. His father, Giuseppe Rossini, played the horn in a local band and inspected slaughterhouses to earn extra money for his family. His mother, Anna, was a singer and the daughter of a baker. Rossini’s mother and father began to teach him music at a very early age. By age six, Rossini was playing the triangle in a local band, along with his father. Soon after, Rossini was apprenticed to a smith. He found a much needed master in Angelo Tesei who taught him to sight-read, play the piano, and sing solos in church at the age of ten. When he was just thirteen, he played at the stage of the Commune, in Camilla. This would be his only public performance as a singer. As a talented horn player, Rossini followed in the footsteps of his father. Rossini was admitted to the class of Padre P. S. Mattei in 1807. He also began studying with Cavedagni at the Conservatorio of Bologna. He became a talented cello player, but was stifled by Mattei’s severe views on study. Rossini sought to study at a freer school. Rossini’s talent in orchestral performance is related to the strict teachings he learned from Mattei as well as knowledge acquired from independent work. He scored the quartets of Mozart and Haydn. While studying in Bologna, he was known as “the little German” because of his dedication to Mozart.


Rossini’s first opera was staged in Venice when he was just eighteen, at the guidance of the Marquis Cavalli. The opera was called La Cambiale di Matrimonio. Just two years before, Rossini was given a prize from the Conservatorio of Bologna for his cantata. Rossini made several operas from 1810 to 1813. The success of these works is dwarfed by the huge success of his opera Tancredi. Rossini made twenty operas in the next ten years. Rossini created a new, happier ending for the opera Otello. Rossini also put on a production of Cinderella, but omitted the supernatural elements. He married the singer Isabella Colbran in 1822. Later that same year, he produced his Cenerentola in Vienna. His Zelmira was also performed at this venue years earlier. Following these productions, Rossini returned to Bologna where he had grown up and first studied music. He didn’t stay there for long. After receiving an invitation from Prince Metternich, Rossini left for Verona. Prince Metternich wanted Rossini to assist him in reinstituting “harmony” in the musical world. Rossini came back in time for the opening of the Congress in October of 1822. It was at the Congress that Rossini made friends with Dorothea Lieven and Chateaubirand.

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about 5 years ago

Very interesting and informative biography, I liked it. But it contains few information about his work - www.fampeople.com/cat-gioachino-antonio-rossini