Gioachino Rossini's life was bursting with the joy of music. Born in 1792 to two struggling musicians, he started his first opera at age 12. By 20, he had written a half-dozen more (including The Barber of Seville and Cinderella), making him the idol of Italy. He showered his audiences with rollicking rhythms, ebullient melodies—and the crowds sang his music in the streets.
Blessed with a delightful sense of humor and a passion for writing—“Give me a laundry list and I’ll set it to music”—he gained international fame with his comedies. And while old Beethoven warned him “serious opera will go against your nature,” he wrote darker music that was just as enjoyable.
At 38, he was the most popular composer in opera history, with a string of 39 beloved works, overtures that transformed the medium, and a fortune well earned from the royal and the rich.
At 39, he “retired.”
And while critics bemoaned his “silence,” the famous names of the day in literature, art, music, philosophy, politics and business, sang his praises. He held infamous parties in his Paris apartment, and restaurateurs and chefs were friends of the “celebrated gourmand.” Rossini was also a brilliant pianist, hailed by Liszt and Saint Saens. He often entertained guests with selections from his Sins of Old Age—14 volumes of solo piano, voice and chamber ensembles, including a massive Stabat Mater—whose public performance in 1841 “transported the audience... and quickly won all Paris.”
All of which has led us to a 225th birthday celebration Festival as full of unforgettable music—and incredible surprises—as the inimitable Rossini would have lived it.
The 2017 festival will once again bring opera fans from near and far. Our innovative “Inside the Opera Studio” series and “Sunday Artist Spotlight” programs continue to build audiences here at home. Whether you are new to opera or a life-long fan, OperaDelaware has something for you this season.
OperaDelaware is a revelation—come revel with us!
Sat., April 29, 7:30 pm | Semiramide
Sun., April 30, 2 pm | Cinderella (La Cenerentola)
Fri., May 5, 7:30 pm | Petite messe solennelle
Sat., May 6, 7:30 pm | Cinderella (La Cenerentola)
Sun., May 7, 2 pm | Semiramide
JUST ANNOUNCED: Mr. Berger will also give a short introduction/talk before Petite messe solennelle (5/5) in the theater starting at 7:15 pm.
This season at the OperaDelaware Studios
Inside the Opera Studio
October 21 & 23, 2016 | Best of bel canto
January 20 & 22, 2017 | Devils, Drunks & Dastardly Dudes
March 3 & 5 | Ladies' Night
Sunday Artist Spotlight
October 21 & 23, 2016 | Sean Anderson
January 20 & 22, 2017 | Aleksandra Romano
March 3 & 5 | Megan Marino
Pre-performance lectures are partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the humanities.