One moment …

Activity breaks aren’t all about being active!

June 21, 2016

Maybe you think activity breaks aren’t for you because you’re not exactly the sporty type, but fear not. ActivityBreaks.com have packages that suit all interests, in particular this blog will thrill the lovers of opera among you! Are you a big fan of opera, and looking for an activity break for you and your other half to experience together? Our Rossini opera festival packages are well suited for couples.

Held every summer in Pesaro, the birth place of composer Gioachino Rossini, the Rossini opera festival is one of the most famous in Italy and indeed the world. The festival, which is sometimes referred to as the Pesaro Festival, is held in August every year and studies the musical heritage of the composer. It revives the work of Rossini and enables the operas to come to live in unique ways every year through the collaboration of scholars, artists and inclusion of the audience. So why does Rossini deserve his own festival?..

Born in 1792 into a musical family, a young Rossini learned how to play an array of musical instruments. He composed his first opera at 13, and when he was 18 he had the first public staging of his operas. He developed his own style of opera buffa – or opera comedies – and was known for his rhythmic brilliance, Rossini wrote musical numbers whose frenzy marks a departure from the style of 18th century opera. He was devoted to Mozart, and developed the nickname “Monsieur Crescendo”, because he often included a slow section that developed into fast music with a crescendo. 

In 1812 he wrote La pietra del paragone for the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Sometimes he had to produce so many new operas that he kept reusing some of the music he had already written in another opera. Nevertheless, they include a lot of fine music, and Rossini was developing his musical personality. Rossini’s international fame took him to Vienna where he met Beethoven. After returning to Italy for a while he travelled to Paris and England, where he started a 5-month residency at the King’s Theatre.

When he was 30 he finally met Beethoven, who remarked;

 “Ah, Rossini. So you’re the composer of The Barber of Seville. I congratulate you. It will be played as long as Italian opera exists. Never try to write anything else but opera buffa; any other style would do violence to your nature.”

Indeed, opera buffa, was Rossini’s distinct style in majority of his operas; of which he had written 34 by the time he was 31. At age 37 he staged his final opera William Tell and retired from composing.

This year’s festival will see the La Donna del Lago performed on the premiere evening; one of the more lyrical operas, set in the Scottish Highlands. It’s a complex love story revolving around King James V, Elena, Malcolm and Rodrigo, this play is an underperformed gem which any opera lover is sure to enjoy. The opera on the night of the 12th August is the Il Turco in Italia; written when Rossini was just 22. The play provides comic relief with Fiorilla's boredom with her husband as she attempts to flirt with Turk Selim. Another opera performed on the 13th August is the Ciro in Babilonia which originally premiered in 1812. Part oratoria and part opera, this piece has an underlying moral tone which Rossini used to get around the church's insistence on no performances during Lent! 

So why is the festival so good for couples? The festival brings together all the best work of Rossini and who better to share the moment with than your other half? In fact, the Festival has become noted for its own very special atmosphere. It involves all in attendance; operagoers, artists, musicologists, organisers and technicians. Everyone has a feel good sense of involvement. It’s a rare and unique cultural adventure.

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