Music: Lazy Man's Festival

Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868), an ebullient, easygoing man, wrote 39 operas, and stopped at the age of 37 with the explanation that he was "too lazy" to compose any more. Because his operas have a reputation for being hopelessly oldfashioned, and because most of them are excruciatingly difficult for modern singers, little but his bubbling Barber of Seville and the galloping overture to William Tell* get much of a hearing today. But last week Florence's Maggio (May) Musicale ended a cycle of six Rossini operas in as many weeks, won bravos from audiences...

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