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Rossini: Semiramide - Alex Penda (soprano); Andrea Mastroni (bass); John Osborn (tenor); Lorenzo Ragazzo (bass); Marianna Pizzolato (contralto);...
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  1. Semiramide, opera
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Rossini's Semiramide, composed in 1823, was his last Italian-language opera, and, in a way, the last gasp of the entire Baroque opera tradition. The murky plot comes from Babylonian legend via Voltaire, and the focus is all on the fancy singing. The opera was a staple of stages worldwide in the 19th century, associated with such idols as Giulia Grisi and Nellie Melba, but its over-the-top vocal stylings fell out of fashion in the slimmed-down 20th century, and it was rarely performed. Now that ascetic modernism is held in ...