"You, my dear Rossini! I will mention first." Rossini's conquest of Munich in 1816

15 November 2016 – 31 March 2017
From the series "Musical treasures"

Gioachino Rossini, 1819. Steel engraving on the basis of a drawing by Louis Dupré (after 1820) | © Collection Reto Müller

Gioachino Rossini, 1819. Steel engraving on the basis of a drawing by Louis Dupré (after 1820) | © Collection Reto Müller

Historical background

On 18 June 1816 Gioachino Rossini's opera buffa "L'italiana in Algeri" was performed by the Italian opera troupe of Antonio Cera in the Munich court theatre. A memorable event, since this was not only the first time that an opera by Rossini was staged in Munich, but the first time in overall Germany. Rossini's music took Munich by storm.

Still in the same year, three more of his operas were staged – "L'inganno felice", "Tancredi" and "Ciro in Babilonia" –, the ensemble presenting a total of 17 different Rossini operas up to the year 1824. As of 1821 the local ensemble of the National Theatre additionally performed works by Rossini in the German language.

About the cabinet presentation

The Music Department of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds a broad spectrum of source materials on these early performances in Munich. The success of Rossini's operas in Munich is not only documented in the form of scores, voices, libretti and theatre handouts immediately associated with the performances, but by a broad variety of other materials bearing witness. Thus, the Munich music publishing house Falter quickly reacted to the success of the initial guest performances of the troupe of Antonio Cera, publishing a "Selection of the most exquisite and popular arias, duets and romances accompanied by pianoforte or guitar" for music-making in the private home in 1817. The 17 music books contain ten arias and duets from the Munich popular successes "L‘inganno felice", "L'italiana in Algeri" and "Tancredi". Among the Rossini works edited for a broad range of instrumentations, the arrangements of opera pieces for wind-instrument dominated "Harmonie" music by the Munich musicians Wilhelm Legrand, Peter Streck and Johann Baptist Widder are particularly outstanding.

The musical sources are complemented by image material from the image archive of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and contemporary press reports about the performances. The exhibition features almost exclusively such sources which are connected with the first Italian guest performances that started in 1816.

Dr. Uta Schaumberg
Phone: +49 89 28638-2469

VenueBayerische Staatsbibliothek, hallway of the Music Department, 1st floorOpening hours15 November 2016 – 31 March 2017
Monday – Friday   9:00 – 17:00  (closed on bank holidays)
AdmissionAdmission is free.