He had a lifelong interest in nineteenth century Italian opera, and attended Princeton University for graduate work in musicology, writing his doctoral dissertation on music by Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi.
He wrote the award-winning book Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera and was a professor of music at the University of Chicago. His contributions to opera scholarship had a great effect on performance practice.
He made frequent visits to Italy, advising on productions at the Rossini Opera Festival, working with the Institute of Verdi Studies and the Teatro Regio di Parma on their programming for the centenary of Verdi's death in 2001.
In the USA, he worked with Houston Grand Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera. He also worked with Riccardo Muti, who acknowledged Gossett's role in clarifying ambiguities.
For most of his career he was General Editor of two projects at the University of Chicago - research for preparing critical editions of all the operas of Rossini and Verdi.
Philip Gossett died in Chicago on 12 June 2017, aged seventy-five, from progressive supernuclear palsy.
Ensemble. Memorable and Entertaining - Australia's first production of 'Il viaggio a Reims', reviewed by David Mitchell
Ensemble. Heavy Stage Direction and Sets - Rossini's 'Il viaggio a Reims' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi