Happy Unbirthday, Gioachino Rossini!

Inside the Music Conservatory (Pesaro)
Inside the Music Conservatory (Pesaro)

On Gioachino Rossini’s unbirthday I’m sharing with you today last year’s post (sorry, Gioachino, must take Costanza to a Mardi Gras Carnival party this afternoon, so I don’t have to write a new post… but I know you do not mind!).

Give me the laundress’ bill and I will even set that to music (Gioachino Rossini)

Can you imagine being born on February 29th and celebrating your birthday every four years? Well, I would like to be born on Feb. 29th if I could count one year every four. Let me think: today I wouldn’t even be in my teens 😉

Anyway, you must be very special to be born on Feb. 29th and Gioachino Rossini, the Italian music composer born in my hometown (Pesaro) on Feb. 29th 1792, certainly was very special if, until his retirement in 1829, he had been the most popular opera composer in history.

Besides being a musical genius, he was also popular for his wit, his sense of humor and for his cooking abilities. Unfortunately he apparently sank into a big depression; this may be the reason why he retired from the music scene at age 37 (even though he died in 1868).

Rossini theatre
Rossini theatre

Rossini left his entire estate to the Municipality of Pesaro. The Music Conservatory, entitled to him, was established in 1869 according to his will; today a few of Rossini’s mementoes (mostly original music sheets) are safeguarded there inside the so-called ‘Tempietto Rossiniano’.

If you visit Pesaro you should not miss his birth-place in the historic centre (in via Rossini, of course) and, if you happen to be here in August, you may not want to miss the ‘Rossini Opera Festival’ either. In August 2014 I happened to attend ‘Il viaggio a Reims’  performed by young interpreters from the ‘Accademia Rossiniana’ conducted by Ivan Lopez Reyonso in a restaging of the 2001 production.

Rossini's birthplace in Pesaro
Rossini’s birthplace in Pesaro

I don’t know abou you but I am fond of Rossini’s comic operas. This year our town, besides celebrating Rossini’s compleanno, also celebrates 200 years from the first staging of ‘The Barber of Seville’ (performed for the first time on Feb. 20th 1816 at Argentina Theatre in Rome). Starting on Feb. 20th we’ve had many initiatives going on (concerts, meetings, music and art conversations, food-tastings, children laboratories, guided tours).

Tomorrow the grand finale: a guided tour of Rossini’s birthplace in the afternooon (guided by ‘Maestro Rossini’) and ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’ at the Rossini Theatre (in a ‘concert’ staging) performed by the pupils of the ‘Accademia Rossiniana’ directed by Alberto Zedda.

What about you? Are you an opera lover? Our 7-year-old daughter Costanza, after attending the latest concert of our amateur orchestra (16th century music), said to me: ‘Mum, it’s not like I want to criticize you but I like the drums much better than the violin, you know‘.

God bless her 🙂


  1. Genius is often associated with depression. Since he left his estate to the town I’m guessing he did not marry and have a family. I’m thinking I’m glad not to be a genius. Having a strong support system help fend off some of the crazy thinking that comes with isolation and self absorption.

  2. I remember visiting the Rossini theater and his birth place. They look much as I remember them while I, on the other hand, have aged a bit.

    • Ciao George, well nobody is getting any younger around here either 😉 However, last night I celebrated the birthday of a friend of mine and he told me he dosn’t celebrate his birthday anymore. He says every day is a re-birth. He said we should all be born anew each day. I guess this is the secret of his looking much younger than he really is 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and have a nice day!

  3. What a gorgeous post Simona! And what a heritage your city has. His music is so beloved and exciting. We went to see the Barber of Seville last year for our anniversary. Loved the music (and also the Spanish dancing inserted!). Thanks for posting this!! Hope all’s well with you and the family– hugs hugs!

    • Uh uh, the Barber of Seville. What a romantic idea for you who cherish such beautiful memories of your life in Seville 🙂 I love that opera too; it is so funny and vital. All the best to you and la tua famiglia!

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