The Chairfather: Père Lachaise part III
…At least this former resident DID live here before being moved to Florence!
Italian composer Rossini was as joyful as he was talented.
Starting in his teens, he wrote 40 operas, and unforgettable themes like The Thieving Magpie and the William Tell Overture.
Nearly all of his works are comedies. He even gave Othello a happy ending. He wrote a duet for cats. A renowned jokester, a student once remarked to him that he was playing the partition of Wagner upside down, he told her, "I tried it the other way, it was worse!"
Of another Wagner piece, Rossini said,
"One cannot judge it after a single listening, and I certainly don't intend to hear it twice."
He never took himself too seriously, nor let work get in the way of pleasure. He teased artists with big heads, saying "How marvellous would opera be without singers."
He could be furiously active when he was passionate about a piece, or slip into sloth when inspiration was wonting. The Barber of Seville was famously finished in under two weeks, while at his favorite writing spot: his bed. Partitions of another completed piano prélude, fell from the sheets to the floor. Rather than get out and pick them up, Rossini preferred to stay in bed and start another!
At his retirement in 1829, Rossini was the most popular opera composer in history. He lived to a ripe old age in Paris, enjoying parties, music and feasts. He enjoyed pleasures both oral and aural, mixing the two in his quote, "It's a melody to be savored by the mouth."
One of his favorite dishes, a tower of butter-soaked bread, tender two-finger thick steak, foie gras, topped with three truffle slices and smothered in Madère wine, was christened the 'tournedos Rossini.'
Maestro, we salute you!
Time to get back to work with another builder of Paris, coming up 5 tombs down on the right.