A life time of dedication

After winning the prize at the age of eighteen at the Conservatorio of Bologna for his cantata, 'Il piantô d'armonia per la morte d'Orfeo', Rossini's first opera, 'La Cambiale di Matrimonio' was produced under the auspices of the Marquis Cavalli at Venice. But out of his numerous compositions composed in Rome, Venice and Milan from 1810 to 1813, 'Tancredi', was the most successful. Melodies such as, 'Mi rivedrai, ti rivèdrô' and 'Di tanti palpiti', rendered by Rossini were so popular that the Italians would even sing it in crowds at the law courts till the judge called order to the court!

Rossini continued writing operas for Venice and Milan over the years till 1815, when he retired to his home in Bologna. Barbaia, the Impresario of the Naples Theatre requested him to take up music direction of the Teatro San Carlo and the Teatro Del Fondo at Naples composing for each of them an opera per year. His payment for composing operas would be 200 ducats per month besides sharing Barbaia's income from gaming tables which was popular at that time. In spite of criticism from older composers, Rossini won more favour with his composition, 'Elisabetta regina d'Inghilterra'. Isabella Colbran who took the leading role, eventually became Rossini's wife. Rossini also wrote the admixtures of the compositions which were normally left to the imagination of the singers. He even wrote for the first time the recitativo secco, a recitative accompanied by a string quartet.