Skip to page content

A theater composer equally at home in tragedy and comedy, Rossini was famous in his own lifetime for the rapid pace at which he worked. Some of that fame was the result of clever self-promotion and exaggeration, but there was a core truth to it. As a case in point, Rossini received the libretto for La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant) on Christmas Day in 1816 and completed the score in three weeks, in time to be rehearsed and premiered at the Teatro Valle in Rome on January 25, 1817. He met the need for speed, however, by subcontracting the recitatives and other parts of the opera to another composer and importing the characteristically vivid and tuneful overture from his own La Gazzetta (The Newspaper), which had premiered in Naples in September 1816.

— John Henken