December 2008 saw the publication of the critical edition of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, edited by the Center’s coordinator, Patricia Brauner. Barbiere is the second volume of Works of Gioachino Rossini, published by Bärenreiter-Verlag under the general editorship of Philip Gossett. In the substantial volume of Critical Commentary accompanying the score there is an important essay by the conductor and musicologist Will Crutchfield on “Contemporary Vocal Ornamentation” that will be of interest to scholars and singers alike. The new edition, performed in its preliminary form by the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2008, was performed in July 2009 at the Royal Opera House, London; the cast, conducted by Antonio Pappano, included Juan Diego Flórez, Joyce DiDonato, Simon Keenlyside, and Ferruccio Furlanetto. The next volumes of the series to be published will be the Petite Messe solennelle for two pianos and harmonium, edited by Patricia Brauner and Philip Gossett, and a volume of Rossini’s music for military band, edited by Denise Gallo of The Library of Congress.
Emily Robinson had been CIAO’s research assistant since her graduation from the University of Chicago in 2007. Her principal work for CIAO is carried out in the stacks of the Newberry Library, combing auction and sales catalogues for entries relating to the “Big Five” Italian opera composers: Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Puccini. The items are entered into the OperaCat database, another project directed by Philip Gossett; eventually this will be an online catalogue that will enable scholars to track the progress of music, letters, and other relevant documents through the antiquarian market. Emily is now pursuing a graduate degree in voice at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Good luck, Emily! CIAO welcomes Stephen Raskauskas as the current research assistant.