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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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Rome and Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816)

Rome and Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816)

(p.38) Chapter four Rome and Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816)

Richard Osborne

Oxford University Press

Gioachino Rossini arrived in Rome in the early part of November 1815 to oversee a reworked version of Il turco in Italia and to write a new piece for the Teatro Valle, a sentimental ‘rescue’ opera in the semiserio style, Torvaldo e Dorliska. The management assembled a strong cast for the new work, but it failed to please at its prima on December 26. That same day, however, Rossini had signed a contract for a second opera to be performed at the management’s much grander Teatro Argentina the following February. There is every probability that Rossini had been contemplating Pierre Beaumarchais’s play for a considerable time, either in its original form or through the refracting medium of Giovanni Paisiello’s setting. It would be based on Beaumarchais’s Le Barbier de Séville, though out of deference to Paisiello’s celebrated setting of 1782, it was to be called Almaviva.

Keywords:   Gioachino Rossini, Rome, Teatro Valle, opera, Teatro Argentina, Pierre Beaumarchais, Giovanni Paisiello, Almaviva

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