RECENT: James Ross and Eric Fraad discuss Streaming, Downloads and CDs with Maria Nockin, Mary Mogil, David Arditti, Gerald Fenech, John Daleiden, John Dante Prevedini, Lucas Ball and Stephen Francis Vasta in our hour-long May 2021 video.
Gioacchino Rossini (29 February 1792 - 13 November 1868), the most influential Italian composer of the time, spent much of his long life writing operas for performance in Venice, Milan, Naples, Rome and Paris, and raised opera buffa to new heights. He mastered rhythm and comedy in music, and described himself as 'the last of the classicists'.
CD Spotlight. Balancing Intimacy with Incisiveness - A new recording of Rossini's 'Petite messe solennelle', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Soloists and chorus deliver some flawless singing, and their great attention to the text creates a sense of reverential homage to the sacred.'
Classical music news. The Ideal Bridge - Michele Mariotti is to make his debut at Vienna State Opera with The Barber of Seville
Ensemble. Regietheater at the Rossini Opera Festival - Giuseppe Pennisi discusses recent performances of 'Il Signor Bruschino' and 'Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra'
Ensemble. A Great Rossini Opera Festival Opening - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews 'Moïse et Pharaon'
Ensemble. When I'm Sixty-Four - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Spoleto Festival
Ensemble. Three Divas - Maria Nockin reviews a streamed recital from Versailles, given by Ailyn Pérez, Nadine Sierra, Isabel Leonard, Vlad Iftinca and Pablo Sáinz-Villegas
Ensemble. Figaro via Laugh-in - Ron Bierman reviews San Diego Opera's parking-lot production of Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville'
Ensemble. Rollicking Comedy - Maria Nockin reports from San Diego Opera's drive-in performances of Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville'
Ensemble. Half and Half - Giuseppe Pennisi is not entirely convinced by Teatro San Carlo di Napoli's new production of Gioacchino Rossini's 'Il Turco in Italia'
Ensemble. Fit for Streaming? - Giuseppe Pennisi investigates various current and recent opera productions
Ensemble. Hundreds of Thousands in Line for a Barber - A new Rome production of Rossini's 'Barber of Seville' especially for TV, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. ROF is Back and in Good Spirits - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on 'Il barbiere di Siviglia' and the Rossini Opera Festival's current performances
Ensemble. A Delightful Morning - Diana Damrau and Joseph Calleja sing live from Caserta in Italy as part of Met Stars Live in Concert, experienced by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Touch of Verdi in Rossini's Last Work - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Opera Roma's grand performance of Petite Messe Solennelle in Rome
Ensemble. The Belcanto Concerts - Giuseppe Pennisi sends his last report from this year's Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
Ensemble. Rossini's Last Sin - Giuseppe Pennisi attends a very special performance at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
Ensemble. Promised in Marriage - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
Ensemble. Where to now for the Arts in the UK? - Annie Lydford, Julian Glover and Emily Gottlieb in conversation with Michael Williams as part of the Buxton International Festival Digital 2020 Season, reported by Mike Wheeler
With Great Caution - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the gradual reopening of Italian Summer Festivals
Ensemble. Memorable and Entertaining - Australia's first production of 'Il viaggio a Reims', reviewed by David Mitchell
Ensemble. Promised in Marriage - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Rome on Rossini's first staged opera, asking who pays 'The Promissory Change'?
CD Spotlight. Vintage Rossini - A Munich recording of the early opera 'Sigismondo', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Keri Lynn Wilson paces the work with an uncanny tempo that strikes an ideal balance between the psychological and musical aspects of the opera, and her conducting is consistently sensitive to the nuanced phrasing and textures of the score.'
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Touches - Rossini's 'Eduardo e Cristina', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... sensitively dramatic singing, invigorating playing and some glowing conducting from Gianluigi Gelmetti ...'
Ensemble. Young Rossini's 'Comedy for Adults' - Giuseppe Pennisi sends his final report from Pesaro
Ensemble. Rossini's Adolescent Opera - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Pesaro on 'Demetrio e Polibio'
Ensemble. Sex and Power in Pesaro - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a new production of 'Semiramide' at the Rossini Opera Festival
Ensemble. A Double Bridge - Giuseppe Pennisi attends 'Sarang è Amore' at the Korean Cultural Institute in Rome
Classical music news. ROF at Forty - Giuseppe Pennisi looks forward to the Rossini Opera Festival, 11-23 August 2019, and explains why investing in Rossini can be profitable
Sacred and Secular - Rossini's 'Petite Messe Solennelle' from Derby Bach Choir, Richard Roddis and friends, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Mechanical Toy Box - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences the revival in Rome of Rossini's 'La Cenerentola'
CD Spotlight. A Quintessentially French Bestiary - French songs by various composers, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Ducks, peacocks, pigs, butterflies, dromedaries, carp, cicadas and owls are just some of the creatures in the menagerie assembled for this recording.'
CD Spotlight. Improvisatory Freedom - Gerald Fenech listens to pianist Myron Romanul. 'Romanul's playing brims with an expressive power that generates its own excitement and self-belief ...'
Ensemble. A Children's Game - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to special Rossini in a special place
Ensemble. An Endurance Test - Rossini, Monti, J S Bach, Mozart, Handel, Vaughan Williams and Dave Maslanka from the Syzygy Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler
Profile. No Vulgar Commercialiser - George Colerick tells the story of Louis Jullien, a French impressario, composer and conductor famous in London in the nineteenth century
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Played - Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Cello Concerto, heard by Alice McVeigh. 'Brinton maintains a clear, sonorous and resonant sound even in the highest register, though he could perhaps have been willing to take a few more risks.'
Ensemble. An Overwhelming Success - Pier Luigi Pizzi's new 'Barber of Seville' enthralls the Rossini Opera Festival, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Sparkling Wine and Wedding Cake - Rossini's 'Adina' in Pesaro, enjoyed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Lukewarm Reception - 'Ricciardo e Zoriade' at the Rossini Opera Festival, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Mood Enhancing - 360 Degree Guitar Duo, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... ideal for relaxation with a chianti ...'
Ensemble. Rossini in The Quarry - 'The Barber of Seville' at an unusual venue in Hungary, praised by Anett Fodor
Ensemble. Highly Promising Talent - Katie Gilbert, Esther Beard and Edward Leung at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Stravinskian Credentials - Rossini, Poulenc and Saint-Saëns from Nottingham Harmonic Choir and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Rarely more than Loosely Acted - Maria Nockin reviews John Copley's production of Rossini's 'Semiramide' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, without Copley
Ensemble. A Gradual Maturing - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the recent performance history of Rossini's 'William Tell' and reviews Palermo's 2018 production
CD Spotlight. Utmost Care - Gioacchino Rossini's 'Bianca e Falliero', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Antonino Fogliani and his forces respond with zealous enthusiasm, and the ensemble pieces in particular are dispatched with marvelous excitement, soliciting in the listener a strong sense of involvement.'
CD Spotlight. Dramatically Nuanced - Rossini's 'Sigismondo', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... an excellent live recording of a rare bel canto gem that deserves serious scrutiny by all those interested in Italian melodrama.'
Ensemble. Opera Philology - Rossini's 'Torvaldo e Dorliska', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. High Society Two Centuries Ago - Giuseppe Pennisi comments on Rossini's 'La Pietra di Paragone' in Pesaro
Ensemble. Third Time Lucky - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the first performance of the original version of Rossini's 'Siege of Corinth'
Ensemble. Heavy Stage Direction and Sets - Rossini's 'Il viaggio a Reims' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Fun and Games - Mike Wheeler enjoys Opera North's take on Rossini's 'La Cenerentola'
Ensemble. Reviving Rossini's Tancredi - Margaret Darby reports from Opera Philadelphia
Peace through Music - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Christmas concerts in the Holy Land
Ensemble. Lots of Tinsel - Derby Concert Orchestra's Christmas concert, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Little to do with Shakespeare - A strong production of Rossini's 'Otello' opens Teatro San Carlo's new season in Naples, reported by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Engagingly Delivered - Robert Meyer's 'Discovering the Double Bass', heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a rare and welcome initiative ...'
Somewhat Congested - Jonathan Scott plays the organ of Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Rossini on a Movie Set - 'Il Turco in Italia' and 'Ciro in Babilonia' at the Rossini Opera Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. An Engrossing Idea - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro for an original and moving 'La Donna del Lago'
Ensemble. An Attractive Programme - Baroque music and English string classics from the Northern Chamber Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Not Entirely New - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences a double 'Barber of Seville' in Rome
CD Spotlight. Consistently Vibrant - Music inspired by St Francis of Assisi, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A heart-melting issue ...'
Rossini's Revenge - The first of three new 'Barber of Seville' productions marking the opera's bicentenary, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Surrealist Pop - Rossini's 'La Cenerentola' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Very Special - Christmas music in Rome impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Exuberant Delight - Opera North's 'The Barber of Seville', enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Musical Prowess - Robert Anderson's 'Opera Nights and Nightmares', read by Gerald Fenech
Ensemble. Semi-serious Rossini - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
Ask Alice - 'William Tell' at Covent Garden, with Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh
DVD Spotlight. An Ancient Character - Rossini's 'Semiramide', reviewed by Howard Smith. '... traditional elements alongside innovative ones.'
Ensemble. Undoubtedly Authentic - Rossini's 'La Donna del lago' delights Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Great Deal of Fun - Maria Nockin enjoys Rossini's 'Barber of Seville' in HD from New York
Ensemble. Sorrows of Young Rossini - Giuseppe Pennisi sends a second report from the 2014 Rossini Opera Festival
Ensemble. Avant-garde and Fun - 'The Barber of Seville' at the Rossini Opera Festival, enjoyed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Fatally Compromised - Rossini's 'Otello', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Near Perfect - Rossini's 'La Cenerentola', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Clash of Civilizations - Rossini's 'Maometto II', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Absolutely Luminous - Thomas Bowes plays the Barber Violin Concerto, and impresses Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Exhilarating Music - Verdi, Rossini, Offenbach, Mozart and Theodore Morrison at Santa Fe Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Good Music makes Good Money - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the 2013 Rossini Opera Festival
CD Spotlight. Nostalgic and Enthralling - A Joan Sutherland portrait, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a fitting tribute to the singing legend from Australia ...'
Ensemble. Theatrical Genius - Rossini's 'La Cenerentola' delights Maria Nockin
DVD Spotlight. A Real Achievement - Gioacchino Rossini's 'Adelaide di Borgogna', recommended by Robert Anderson. '... the Bologna singers and players ... respond finely to every nuance ...'
DVD Spotlight. Heartfelt Agitation - Rossini's 'Mosè in Egitto', reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'Musically all is well ...'
DVD Spotlight. Charming and Fascinating - Rossini's 'Le Comte Ory', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Joyce DiDonato, as Ory's promiscuous young page Isolier, is absolutely irrepressible ...'
Ensemble. An Annual Delight - Maria Nockin visits Santa Fe for the summer opera season
Ensemble. Sex and Bigotry - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on his week at the Rossini Opera Festival
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Two Celebrations - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a three-day musical party near Lucca in Tuscany
Ensemble. Incandescent Performance - Nigel Kennedy with the Royal Philharmonic and Andrew Litton, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Simply Exquisite - Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville' at San Diego Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. All the Ingredients - Giuseppe Pennisi describes a rather half-baked 'Barber of Seville'
Ensemble. New Respect - Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville' at New York Metropolitan Opera, reviewed by Gregory Moomjy
CD Spotlight. A Fine Collection - Operatic bass arias sung by William Powers, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... a formidable mixture of operatic styles ...'
Ensemble. Tormented Souls - Sex and power in the aftermath of a Middle Eastern war, when 'Semiramide' opens the opera season in Naples, reported by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. The Lady without the Lake - Rossini at La Scala, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Patriot and Terrorist? - New aspects of Rossini brought to light at the 2011 Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, discussed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. The Legacy of Bel Canto - Rossini's 'William Tell' at the Caramoor Festival, discussed by Gregory Moomjy
DVD Spotlight. Wonderfully Resourceful - Rossini's 'Il Turco in Italia', reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'The orchestra under Antonello Allemandi seem to have relished the evening as much as I did.'
Ensemble. Sheer Brilliance - Rossini's 'William Tell', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Achingly Beautiful - Vivaldi's 'La verità in cimento' at Garsington Opera, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Artistic Freedom - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the sophisticated music festival in a Tuscan mountain convent and stays for the full three days
Ensemble. Intense Confrontation - Verdi's 'Ernani' - more revolutionary than patriotic, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Total Concentration - Juan Diego Flórez sings Rossini's 'Le Comte Ory', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Orchestral Nuances - Thanks to a sparkling 'Barber of Seville', Giuseppe Pennisi rediscovers the beauty of Rossini's orchestration
Ensemble. To Suit the Voice - Gregory Moomjy takes a sneak peek at the divas and divos of tomorrow, as heard at New York Metropolitan Opera's National Council auditions
Ensemble. A Wonderful Rendition - Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Happy Melodies - Rossini's 'Il Turco in Italia' delights Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Splendid Performance - Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, heard by Gregory Moomjy
Ensemble. Drama and Comedy - British humour under the Neapolitan sun, in 'L'Elisir d'Amore' in Rome and San Francisco, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Beautifully Sung - An evening with Juan-Diego Flórez, by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. A Spirited Performance - Mike Wheeler listens to Voices and the Derby Concert Orchestra
Ensemble. A Difficult Cocktail - Rossini's 'Moïse et Pharaon', assessed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Soirées musicales - Mariella Devia and the Twilight of Bel Canto, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Real Surprise - Celso Albelo hits Venice as Nemorino in Donizetti's 'L'Elisir d'Amore', by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Better Late than Never - The BPSE Late Summer Festival, attended by Malcolm Troup
Ensemble. An Epic Opera - Rossini's 'William Tell', from Rome to the BBC Proms, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Profile. Two Americans in Paris - Maria Nockin talks to Vivica Genaux and Lawrence Brownlee
Ensemble. Superb from the word 'go' - Donizetti's last Tudor Queen returns to Rome, and Carmela Remigio enchants Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. First Class - The new Palermo production of Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville', a casual worker in Almodóvar's Seville, recommended by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Rough and Shining Jewels - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the 2010 Rossini Opera Festival
CD Spotlight. Striking Originality - Piano music by Moscheles, Mendelssohn and Schumann, heard by Robert Anderson. '...Todd Crow deserves unstinted gratitude.'
CD Spotlight. An Impressive Performance - Michael Ludwig plays music by John Corigliano, heard by Patric Standford. '... should not fail to entertain ...'
Ensemble. Limpid Clarity - 'The Barber of Baghdad' by Peter Cornelius, experienced by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Sovereign Quality - Aidan Lang's 'The Marriage of Figaro', recommended by Howard Smith
Ensemble. Vivid Contrasts - Mike Wheeler listens to Pinchas Zukerman and the Royal Philharmonic
Ensemble. Under the Tuscan Sun - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the beginning of the Tiroler Festspiele 2010
Ensemble. A Cross Section - Bill Newman comments on some recent concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. Hilariously Funny - Arizona Opera's 'The Barber of Seville', appreciated by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Sensitive Account - Choral music by Rossini, Elgar and Handel, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Devil and the Bourgeoisie - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Arrigo Boito's 'Mefistofele'
Ensemble. White Hot Intensity - Renée Fleming and the Russian National Orchestra at the Festival of the Arts Boca 2010, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. A New Dimension - Giuseppe Pennisi reports that chamber opera is alive and well
Ensemble. Excellent Singing - Handel and Rossini from Los Angeles Opera impress Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Highly Challenging - Music for unaccompanied violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching performance ...'
DVD Spotlight. Intensity and Concentration - Kurt Masur conducts Richard Strauss, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz. '... beautifully and confidently performed ...'
Ensemble. Brilliant Opportunities - A Rossini double bill, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
Ensemble. Wholly Captivating - Rossini's 'Italian Girl in Algiers' impresses Howard Smith
Ensemble. Sometimes Impressive - Bellini's 'Norma' from English Touring Opera, heard by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Something Different - Rossini's opera 'Ermione', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Record Box. Many Pleasures - Music for guitar quartet, recommended by Ron Bierman
Ensemble. A Superb Cast - Rossini's 'Mathilde de Shabran' at Covent Garden, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Record Box. Virtuosic Turns - Solo sonatas by Benedetto Marcello, reviewed by Gerald Fenech
DVD Spotlight. Sheer Champagne - Rossini's 'La pietra del paragone', enjoyed by Robert Anderson. 'The Madrid cast has proved itself exemplary ...'
CD Spotlight. Musical Enjoyment - Works by Respighi, recommended by Howard Smith. '... impressively alive to each facet of Respighi's aural colourations ...'
CD Spotlight. Truly Invigorating - Opera fantasies for violin, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... engaging musical finesse.'
Ensemble. Highly Promising - Rossini, Schubert and Beethoven from the Derby Concert Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
DVD Spotlight. Above Praise - Rossini's 'La Cambiale di matrimonio', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... seductively lyrical where the young Rossini demands.'
Ensemble. Beautifully Judged - Mike Wheeler draws attention to the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Orchestra
DVD Spotlight. Rags to Riches - Rossini's 'La Cenerentola', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... irresistible throughout ...'
DVD Spotlight. Major Delights - Rossini's 'Il Viaggio a Reims' entertains Robert Anderson. '... an evening of pure champagne.'
Ensemble. A Modern Style - Pimlico Opera's 'The Barber of Seville', reviewed by Robert Hugill
DVD Spotlight. Teeming Stage Business - Rossini's 'La Gazzetta', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... a mismatch of music and action ...'
DVD Spotlight. Quicksilver Music - Rossini's 'L'occasione fa il ladro', enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... a performance of bubbling vitality ...'
Ensemble. A Rousing Send-off - Nicholas Kok's last concert as Principal Conductor of Sinfonia Viva, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Exhilarating Comedy - 'L'Italiana in Algeri' in Arizona, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Vivid form - 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia' at Covent Garden, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Operatic delights - Canadian Opera Company's Altamira Summer Arts Concerts, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. The extra layer? - Robert Hugill was at Covent Garden's 'Il Turco in Italia'
CD Spotlight. Flexibility and beauty - Ramón Vargas sings Rossini and Donizetti arias, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... his singing is wonderfully musical.'
Ensemble. Ravel chestnut - A dazzling arrangement of 'Bolero' for two pianos, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. On top form - The Italian Girl in Algiers, reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'Its enchantments are as fresh as ever ...'
Ensemble. An eclectic program - Lawrence Budmen is impressed by Canadian/Armenian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian
CD Spotlight. Tricky work - A recording of Rossini's Petite Messe solennelle, reviewed by Robert Hugill. '... a stunning choral sound ...'
Ensemble. A special treat - Maria Nockin enthuses over Ewa Podles' recent recital for San Diego Opera
Ensemble. Choral centenary - Malcolm Miller enjoys two seldom-performed works by Berthold Goldschmidt
Ensemble. Youthful comedies - David Wilkins visits the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy
Record box - Blowing to good purpose - Brass in consort, with Basil Ramsey