This filmed biography of 19th century composer Giacchino Rossini was originally released in Italy in 1940. Nino Besozzi stars as Rossini, while real-life contralto Paola Barbara plays Rossini's opera-star wife Isabella Colbran. The plot concentrates on the years 1815 through 1827, during which Rossini was commissioned to write such operatic masterpieces as Queen Elizabeth and Otello. His most famous work, William Tell, is only alluded to; Rossini is just about to begin writing the opera when the film fades out. Though most of the actors are little more than animated waxworks, Armando Falconi brings a welcome jolt of vitality in the role of the mercurial King Ferdinando I.
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