Rossini Facts:
- Gioacchino Rossini was a famous composer born in Pesaro, Italy, 1792 and died in Passy, France, 1868.
- In 1812, when his first opera premiered in Italy, 20-year-old Rossini was already considered by most to be the leading composer in Italy.
- Rossini and Beethoven were contemporaries. When the two met in 1821, 29-year-old Rossini had composed 24 operas while 51-year-old Beethoven had just composed one.
- Rossini created an entirely new form of opera called "bel canto," which is a blend of "comedy, sentimentalism and drama."
- In addition to writing more than 40 operas, he made a fortune running gambling tables in Naples.
- Rossini retired at the age of 37 and lived another 40 years virtually idle as a composer.
- He spent a huge amount of time with his gardens in France, which were shaped like musical instruments.