Rossi, Lauro



Famous Italian dramatic composer; born at Macerata, and was a student at the Naples Conservatory of Music under Furno, Crescentini and Zingarelli. He brought out two operas at different theatres in Naples before his twentieth year, Le Contesse Villane and La Villana Contessa, and obtained in 1832 the post of leader and composer to the Teatro Valle, Rome. His first successful opera, La casa dishabitata, or I falsi Monetari, was produced at La Scala, Milan, 1834. The next year he went to Mexico as conductor and composer to an opera company. Two years later he undertook the direction of it and during the next few years visited Havana, New Orleans and other points, returning to Europe in 1843. In 1850 he became director of the Milan Conservatory, and about twenty years later was appointed director of the Conservatory at Naples, a post he retained until 1878, and two years later retired to Cremona, where he died. His operas number twenty-nine in all, among the best and most successful being I falsi Monetari, above mentioned; La Contessa di Mons; Cellini a Panigi; and II domino Nero. He composed also a mass, cantatas, elegies, choruses, vocal exercises and songs; an oratorio, Saul; six fugues for strings; and published a Practical Guide to Harmony (Guida di armonia pratica orale). With the exception of his first prominent opera, it would seem that his other works have been very rarely performed outside of Italy, if at all.