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RossiniHis Life and Works$
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Richard Osborne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.001.0001

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Rossini and Scott:

Rossini and Scott:

La donna del lago

Chapter:
(p.279) Chapter Thirty-Three Rossini and Scott:
Source:
Rossini
Author(s):

Richard Osborne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.003.0033

As the first fully fledged opera to be derived from the works of Sir Walter Scott, La donna del lago is something of a trail blazer. For over 50 years it was revived, adapted, and cannibalized. Even today it has a tentative hold on the repertoire, though the intimate scale of much of the music—its lyric-idyllic style—is ill suited to larger houses, however grand the piece can be made to seem scenically. The work’s other principal limitation is its sometimes static second act. Henry Chorley thought the act little more than a “concert in costume.” However, as Philip Gossett has argued, the act works well enough if its finest number, the Trio, is adequately performed. In Rome, and later in Paris, Gioachino Rossini lacked suitable tenors and so could not perform the Trio. Scott’s poem had been published in 1810, before his emergence as a cult figure in European Romanticism.

Keywords:   opera, Walter Scott, music, Henry Chorley, Philip Gossett, Rome, Paris, Gioachino Rossini, tenors, European Romanticism

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