SD Opera Presents
Gioachino Rossini: The Man, The Music, The Food!
San Diego Opera is pleased to share its four-part Zoom lecture series with San Diego Public Library patrons! These free lectures tie into their upcoming production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
Text and image courtesy of SD Opera.
In April 2021, San Diego Opera took a deep dive into the great composer’s life with four Zoom sessions led by Dr. Nic! See below for a description of each lecture and a link to the recording, uploaded on SDO's YouTube page
Rossini’s Early Life and Times (Recorded on April 7, 2021)
Think of Gioachino Rossini as the Andrew Lloyd Webber of his time...he came to know what his audiences really wanted and how to get them to clamor for more! To truly understand how Rossini became the most successful (and the wealthiest!) composer of his time, Dr. Nic will take us through some of the important trends in art and culture that surrounded him when he was just getting started...as a child, an itinerant opera coach, as a music student...and see how his life was influenced by it all. We'll look at Rossini during a time of extraordinary development in music, art, literature and politics, and how his life and works were at the center of it all.
Rossini and the Mezzo-Soprano (Recorded on April 14, 2021)
One of the more interesting aspects of Rossini’s operas is that he often featured the contralto or mezzo-soprano in music of sparkling quality. We think of Rosina in Barber, of course, as well as Angelina in La Cenerentola and Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri. In today’s session, Dr. Nic will survey some of the delightful arias from this vocal repertoire which include feats of acrobatic coloratura that has to be heard to be believed!
The Barber of Seville (Recorded on April 21, 2021)
In today’s session we’ll examine some of the highlights of Rossini’s greatest comic opera, The Barber of Seville. Using video examples and presiding at the piano, Dr. Nic will show us what it is about this delightful comedy that keeps us coming back to it. Comedy in music is extraordinarily difficult, but Rossini made it seem easy. Today we’ll examine why that’s so, and here’s a hint: it’s all in the timing. The combination of rhythmic drive, sparkling melodies and comic timing make Barber one of the great musical comedies of all time, and in this session we’ll take our time to appreciate its delights!
Rossini the Gourmand! (Recorded on April 28, 2021)
“I know of no more admirable occupation than eating, that is really eating!” Rossini was a man who truly loved food and as his success and pocketbook grew, he saw to it that he was surrounded by the finest culinary inventions of the day. He made it a point to befriend one of the earliest ‘celebrity’ chefs, Marie-Antoine Carême, creator of Tournedos Rossini in honor of the composer. In today’s session, Dr. Nic will introduce us to a few of the numerous recipes created in honor of the composer, beginning with the Rossini cocktail which will kick off our time together!
SDPL staff have compiled a sampling of resources in our collection relating to Rossini, The Barber of Seville, and singers mentioned in Dr. Nic's lectures, and you can view that list and place holds here