Curiosities of Music - online book

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360                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC
Handel had trouble enough with opera, before he finally left it. He had a temper which was simply frightful (and an appetite which was the same), and when he came in contact with the conceited and irascible singers of his day, an explosion was sure to follow.
Cuzzoni (who had the sweetest of voices, and the harshest of tempers), was the hardest of all for him to get along with.
One day she refused absolutely to sing a part which he had assigned to her; his patience, small at the best, gave out totally, and he was going to throw her out of the window, when she hurriedly gave her consent to sing.
Handel's losses and trials as operatic manager, temporarily drove him crazy.
Rossini also had his troubles in the operatic field. Once a manager, whose libretti he was bound by contract to set to music, took offence at some action of the composer, and sought to revenge himself by writing a wretched opera for him. The result nearly brought both to ruin, for Rossini retorted by writing a terribly poor score to the words; in the overture, during an allegro move­ment, the violins were arranged so as to stop at every bar, and tap the tin shades of their lamps with their bows. The audience nearly demolished the theatre. The M Barber of Seville" was a failure at its first performance.
There is a note to be made here, of a passage in one of his operas, which is of interest to conduc­tors.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III