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Event Details

Thu, March 15, 2018

18:00 – 19:00

Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, Italia

Rossini plays with the established conventions of the buffo style, going so far as to parody them while using them with great skill and effectiveness. A brilliant handling of rhythm and orchestration, combined with an ironic distancing from sentimentality, is the most original feature of the Barbiere as exemplified by the famous crescendo in Basilio’s ‘Slander Aria’ and the organized chaos in the Act 1 finale. Rossini’s quick-witted word-setting, supported by a subtle use of woodwind and brass instruments, originates memorable characters such as the high-spirited “factotum of the city” (Figaro) or the wilful young lady (Rosina), and musical jokes like Basilio’s departure in the Act 2 quintet.

Featured Biographies

Matteo Sansone


Matteo Sansone studied piano and composition at the Conservatorio S. Pietro a Majella, Naples, and graduated in English from the Istituto Universitario Orientale. He received his PhD from Edinburgh University where he also taught for many years. He taught Italian at the University of Malta and at St. Andrews University. His main research areas are late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century Italian opera with a focus on Verismo, and the relationship between opera and literature. His essays have appeared in «Music & Letters», «California Italian Studies», «Civiltà Musicale», «Early Music». He has co-authored a book on Italian and Maltese Music (Malta, 2001) and has written entries for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, International Dictionary of Opera, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. He taught “Italian Opera” at NYU Florence for many years.