Lived 1792 – 1868
Mostly in  I taly, Paris
Best Known For   The Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola, Semiramide, William Tell, La Danza, Stabat Mater
Similar To   Donizetti, Bellini

I t was the French writer Stendhal – a convert to the cause of Italian culture in general, and its operatic tradition in particular – who compared Rossini to Napoleon. This was at a time when his works were conquering audiences throughout Europe in the same way that the French emperor and his armies were taking over continental kingdom after kingdom.

Rossini’s increasing sway over the opera houses of Europe was a good deal more peaceable in its progress, though equally effective and arguably longer lasting in its impact. Following his mopping up of the Italian peninsula – then a collection of independent states, small and large – his works moved on to the great international operatic centres, and eventually so did...