ROSSINI, GIOACHINO. (1792-1868). Italian composer of The Barber of Seville, William Tell and other operatic masterpieces. SP. (“G. Rossini”). 1p. CDV. N.p., N.d. . A sepia full-length photograph by Parisian photographer Numa Blanc & Cie depicting the composer standing, with his left hand resting on a book opened on a table and his other hand gripping a walking stick. Inscribed on the lower photographer’s mount to “Madm Richards.”
Rossini began his musical career hoping to become a singer, but when his voice broke, he became an accompanist and composer, and soon threw himself into the fashionable, opera buffa, or “comic opera.” Rossini was not content with merely replicating the existing mode; rather, he turned to embellishing his melodies, enlivening the ensembles and finales, and putting the singers at the service of the music. Arriving in Paris in 1823, he was fawned upon by all who received him. There, he wrote his pièce de resistance, William Tell, in 1829, which won rave reviews from Parisian audiences and critics alike. From that point on, the 37-year-old Rossini resolved never again to write for the theater. Although the reasons for his musical silence remain conjectural, some point to the composer’s innate indolence; while others suggest that his jealousy over the Parisian success of fellow opera composer Giacomo Meyerbeer might have played a significant role.
Numa Prosper Blanc de Labarthe operated a photographic studio in Paris from 1854-1875.
Upper corners have been trimmed, but do not affect the image. Slightly dust-stained and in very good condition.