Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868). A lazy student who charmed his elders with a beautiful soprano voice, young Gioacchino Rossini was temporarily out of luck when he reached puberty. Undaunted, he switched to conducting and composing; he would eventually write more than forty operas – including Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), La cenerentola (Cinderella), and Guillaume Tell (William Tell). Rossini wrote many of these operas for his wife, the contralto Isabella Colbran; together, the pair revolutionized the art of singing.
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