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RossiniHis Life and Works$
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Richard Osborne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.001.0001

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The Early Operas (I):

The Early Operas (I):

Farse for Venice’s Teatro San Moisè

(p.173) Chapter Nineteen The Early Operas (I):

Richard Osborne

Oxford University Press

In 1810, Italian opera was in serious need of a rebirth. Such emergent talent as there was generally lacked personality, vision, and the power to innovate. Gioachino Rossini, who possessed all three qualities, was 18 when he made his professional debut at the Teatro San Moisè with La cambiale di matrimonio. As he later recalled, conditions in shrewdly administered theatres such as the San Moisè were ideal for an apprentice composer. The cast usually consisted of six singers. There was no chorus. Working to a strictly limited budget, with minimal scenery and limited rehearsal time, the company would stage two or three new one-act operas per season. The designation of these operas was farsa, a term which has little to do with the English word “farce.” Some of them are funny but not all.

Keywords:   Italian opera, rebirth, Gioachino Rossini, Teatro San Moisè, operas, farse

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