Gioachino Rossini

Despite his long life, this native of Pesaro, Italy (who moved to Bologna at the age of 12) pursued a remarkably short career as an operatic composer, for he retired from stage work in 1829 after a remarkable stretch as opera's most spectacular young genius. It seems to have been some kind of nevous condition which impelled him to avoid the pressures of the very iffy world of producing new operas. For the last 40 years of his life, approximately, he lived handsomely off the proceeds of his operas, composing dozens of charming piano miniatures (known collectively under the title Sins of Old Age) and a couple of large church works for soloists, chorus, and orchestra. The style of Rossini's time was considered old-fashioned for a considerable period of time. Most of his operas were virtually ignored, though his two most popular operas, The Barber of Seville and L'Italiana in Algeri always retained their popularity. Recently the operatic world has appreciated a major Rossini revival.

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