Leap Rossini

I’m happy to say that Google is showing some couth. Today, they posted a twofer doodle on their home page. Why is it a twofer? It honors both leap year and Rossini’s 220th birthday.

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Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born on February 29, 1792 in the town of Pesaro in Northeast Italy. In my opinion, Rossini made Italian opera what it is today.

While Rossini isn’t my favorite Italian composer, my favorites wouldn’t exist without him. Without Rossini we don’t get Donizetti and Bellini without whom we don’t get Verdi which means no Puccini, Leoncavallo, or Mascagni.

Rossini wrote music that is instantly recognizable because of its use in popular culture. The Lone Ranger used Rossini’s William Tell overture as did many—ahem—cartoons.

I think Rossini would have enjoyed the idea of his music being used in cartoons; as Beethoven said in an interview with Rossini late in Beethoven’s life, “Ah, Rossini. So you’re the composer of The Barber of Seville.

"I congratulate you. It will be played as long as Italian opera exists. Never try to write anything else but opera buffa; any other style would do violence to your nature.”

We’ll visit Rossini again soon. His Barber of Seville opens at San Diego Opera in April.

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