Simona Baldelli – Rossini’s Last Score

Published by Piemme, 2018

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A precise, punctual, refined study that pieces together the intimate human story of one man: “immense, limitless, before his time and so immortal”.

Writing a novel inspired by the life of Gioacchino Rossini, in the 150th anniversary of his death, means complicating wonderfully one’s life. The first question one asks oneself when faced with the blank page is: what can be written about someone about whom everything has already been said? Someone who belongs to the collective, and not just the operagoer’s imagination? He was probably the most famous and most highly acclaimed artist of all times, even during his lifetime. While performing in Vienna, the term, Rossinimania, was coined for him. His music could be heard in every corner, postcards with his picture on them were all the rage, men dressed like Rossini, women sighed as he passed by, restaurants dedicated dishes to him. He created the same sensation in the other cities where he lived and worked. Everyone wanted to be seen with the jovial composer, who could compose an opera in no time – he wrote the Barber of Seville in less than two weeks – who was witty and loved his food. And even today, this is how he is remembered: a light-hearted opportunist, a bon vivant. However, after completing his wonderful William Tell, at the age of 37, he actually stopped writing operas, and only composed some sacred pieces and some instrumental music. What led the most famous composer in the world to become silent…?

Simona Baldelli was born in Pesaro but is based in Rome. Her first novel “Evelina e le fate” (Giunti, 2013) (“Evelina and the fairies”), was one of the finalists during the competition Premio Italo Calvino (“Italo Calvino Prize”) and won the literary competition John Fante in 2013. In addition to this, her novel Il tempo bambino (Giunti, 2014) (“Childish time”) was one of the finalists during the competition Premio Letterario Città di Gubbio (“Literary Prize of Gubbio”). In 2016 Baldelli published “La vita a rovescio” (“Living in reverse”) (Giunti), that won the prize Caffè Corretto-Città in Cave, in 2017. This book is inspired by the true story of Caterina Vizzani (1735) – an Italian woman who dressed like a man for almost 8 years. In 2018, Baldelli released the book “L’ultimo spartito di Rossini” (“Rossini’s last score”) (Piemme) and in 2019 she published with Sellerio “Vicolo dell’immaginario” (“Alley of the imaginary”).