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The dottiest of the hangers-on is the would-be poet Pacuvio (Paola Bordogna), who has devised verses on the American river 'Missipipi'. Rossini at twenty is capable of anything, and he manages one of his most delicious nonsense arias as Pacuvio declaims his masterpiece to one of the female hopefuls disporting herself in the pool.
Watch and listen -- Ombretta sdegmosa (Act 1) (DVD1 chapter 8, 42:07-43:37)
© 2007 Opus Arte / Teatro Real
Pacuvio edges nearer and nearer to the edge, finds himself moving forward on the diving-board, and at last our suspension is over and he has tumbled in. However bedraggled, the poem continues, and Rossini at La Scala is clearly launched on a career of ever more heady success.
Copyright © 21 May 2008
Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt