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A night at the opera: art comes alive in a modern twist on Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims

In 1864, four years before his death, Italian composer Gioachino Rossini recalled to his biographer Alexis Azevedo that he would probably have ended up a “chemist or an olive oil salesman” had it not been for the French invasion of Italy.

  • Peter Tregear
  • The Conversation

That invasion had begun in 1792, the year of Rossini’s birth.

By 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte had established the short-lived Cisalpine Republic in Northern Italy, in turn raising hopes a unified Italian state might soon emerge.

Only two years later, however, an Austro-Russian coalition mounted a successful counter-offensive.

Italian unification would…

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