‘Semiramide’: a Historical Overview and

Analysis of Grand Duets

 

By: Rémi Castonguay

Hunter College, City University of New York                            December 14, 2005

 


A parallel is often established between Semiramide and one of Rossini’s earlier creations, Tancredi. Semiramide was indeed born out of the same collaboration between the composer and the librettist Gaetano Rossi and the librettos for both opera are based on plays by Voltaire. Rossi was known for “his boldness in raiding foreign—primarily French—theatre for source material and for introducing strongly romantic plots to the Italian opera stage.”[1] Both characteristics apply to Semiramide. The libretto is indeed abundant in sharp dramatic situations combining supernatural elements and human induced plot developments.

 

Tancredi, was composed close to the beginning of Rossini’s career and premiered in Venice at the Teatro La Fenice in 1813. Semiramide was performed at the same venture ten years later and closes the composer’s Italian career after which, he moves to Paris. This gap of ten years is filled by the composer’s Neapolitan career. As Philip Gossett explains, when Rossini composed Semiramide: “…he was faced with a dilemma: being true to his own artistic needs while composing for an audience unprepared for Neapolitan style.”[2] As explained later on, in many ways Semiramide “negates the Neapolitan experience…”[3]

 

Rossini and Rossi’s Semiramide was not the first opera to exploit the legend of the Babylonian queen. In 1729, Pietro Metastasio’s libretto “Semiramide riconosciuta” was set by Leonardo Vinci in Rome and in a concurrent setting by Nicola Porpora in Venice.[4] Voltaire’s play was first the subject of a ballet by Angionili and Gluck in 1765 and was first set as an opera twenty years later by Mortellari to a libretto by Moretti.[5] Several other operas based on Voltaire’s play were to be produced through the 18th century and early 19th century. Hence, by the time of Rossini and Rossi’s collaboration operagoers were familiar with the legend of Semiramide.

 

A legend is what Semiramide is for most historians. It is unclear if Semiramide was an actual historical character. Accounts from the Greek historian Diodorus tell us of a warlike and ambitious queen of Babylon. In any case Rossini surely “perceived the enormous dramatics potential in the legend of a woman who wielded power over one of the greatest empires of antiquity.”[6] Does the opera portray her as such a character? Rossini and his librettist gave a sense that Semiramide is a strong character but they also conveyed the feeling that she is victim of unfolding events. As an assassin of her husband Nino, she then becomes a victim of the gods through their tool Arsace (alias-Ninia.) Ultimately, she is a victim of herself. In that way, Voltaire’s play is strongly influenced by classic Greek tragedies. The justice of the gods (dikè) has to be fulfilled or otherwise the balance of the world is compromised.

 

 

General form

This opera seria is a perfect model of the use of classical operatic forms. Those are forms that Rossini himself had helped to crystallizing over the years. The first evidence of this is found in the opera’s typical division in two acts and its standard overture. Before 1823 most of Rossini’s operas were divided in two acts, especially the opera seria. Semiramide also presents a typical overture, a practice that Rossini abandoned during his stay in Naples. Listening to Semiramide’s overture will convince anybody that he had not lost his hand at it. The symphonic-sized overture is splendid and has often been acclaimed as Rossini’s best, only to be equaled by the one to Guillaume Tell. It contains also themes that Rossini will reuse later on.

 

However, what makes Semiramide a truly classical work is above all its formal structure. Each number outlined in Table I and II below is structured according to the canon of the aria form—scena, cantabile, tempo di mezzo, and cabaletta (to which is added a tempo d’attaco in case of duets and a pezzo concertato and stretta in the finale.) As alluded to earlier, Semiramide leaves aside much of Rossini’s experimentations in Naples. Gossett informs us that: “Rossini’s Neapolitan works were patently experimental: their formal content was new; their use of chorus was audacious; they abandoned the traditional Rossinian overture…”[7] In addition, during his stay in Naples Rossini made more ample use of ensemble pieces in numbers during the act (numbers outside of the finale where ensemble pieces was considered traditional.) All of those experimental elements are left aside in Semiramide. Nevertheless, the work remains a monumental one through the use of rich orchestration and chorus.

 

Table I: Semiramide: Summary of Act II

 

Numbers

 

Characters involved

Plot

1. Duet

Semiramide-Assur

Scene of confrontation between Assur and Semiramide. Assur tries to force Semiramide to name him as her consort. The story of the regicide is explained in more details.

 

 

2. Solo

Arsace accompanied by – Oroe and Chorus

Arsace learns his true identity, he is Nino’s son, Ninia. He swears vengeance against Assur but tell of his intention to forgive his mother.

 

 

3. Solo

 

Idreno accompanied by Mitrane, Azema, chorus

Idreno overhears Azema saying that she still loves Arsace. First jealous and angry, he then sings his love for her.

 

 

4. Duet

 

 

Arsace and Semiramide

 

Arsace reveals his true identity to his mother Semiramide. Devastated she asks him to take her life. He refuses arguing that he would never kill his mother. Arsace then leaves to Nino’s grave where the Gods’ will (fate and  vengeance) will be accomplished.

 

5. Solo

Assur and chorus

Assur is at the entrance of Nino’s and he is seized by visions of the dead king’s ghost. Taking hold of himself he proceeds to enter Nino’s tomb after forecasting his upcoming triumph.

 

6. Finale

Semiramide, Arsace, Assur, Oroe, and chorus.

In the darkness of Nino’s tomb Arsace and Assur are looking to kill each other. Semiramide who is there to protect her son is fatally wounded by him who mistook her for Assur in the dark. Realizing his mistake, Arsace tries to take his life but is stopped by Oroe. The chorus then invites him to come in triumph to the palace.

 

Bold names are the prominent characters of the scene

 

 

Table II: Semiramide—Scene Divisions in Act II.

 

Scene #

Scena

Tempo d’attaco

Cantabile

Tempo di mezzo

Pezzo concertato

Cabaletta

(Stretta for the finale)

 

1. Duet

“Alla regia d’intorno”

 

“Se la vita ancore

t’e cara”

“Quella ricordati, notte di morte!”

 

“Ma implacabile di Nino”

N/A

“La forza primiera”

2. Solo

Chorus

“In questo augusto”

 

N/A

“In si Barbara sciagura”

“Su, ti scuoti: rammenta schi sei”

N/A

“Si vendicato”

(Chorus and Arsace in alternation)

3. Solo

“Calmati principessa”

N/A

“La speranza più soave”

“Te mia sposa, a questo seno”

N/A

“Sì, sperar voglio contento”

4. Duet

“No: non ti lascio”

“Ebben,

a te: ferisci”

“Giorno d’orror”

“Madre, addio”

N/A

“Tu serena intanto il ciglio”

5. Solo

“Il dì già cade.”

N/A

“Deh! ti ferma…ti placa…

perdona”

“Ah signore! Assur!”

N/A

“Que Numi furenti”

6. Finale

“Oh! Nero eccesso! In suo furore insano”

N/A

“Al mio pregar t’arrendi”

“Dei Qual sospiro”

“L’usato ardir”

“Vieni Arsace, al trionfo, alla reggia”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second act, as can be said of the opera in general, is dominated by the characters of Semiramide, Arsace, and Assur, respectively soprano, contralto, and bass. This concentration makes for a very tense atmosphere where the operagoer can expect the worse to happen at any moment. There is indeed little dramatic relief in the act. Significantly, Semiramide appears only in duet or ensemble settings while Arsace and Assur are each given solo arias. This seems a symbol of a character entangled in the web of circumstances and completely unable to escape events.

The only number is which the main characters are not directly involved is Idreno’s aria in the middle of the act. The subplot that involves Idreno, an Indian prince, and Azema, a Babylonian princess, is the only major flaw of the opera. It was unfortunately left unsolved by the librettist. In the making of this opera, did Rossini insist to be provided with an aria for his tenor? Did he perhaps feel the need for his other soloists to rest? Those questions remain unanswered.

 

The chorus also provides some relief to soloist on a regular basis. However, although the chorus is fairly active, its role sits mostly besides the plot in the manner of Greek chorus or as a commentator of unfolding events. This use of choral forces is again a reminder of the classicism of the work.

 

The Grand Duet Form

 

First grand duet: Semiramide – Assur

 

The section below is devoted to the two duets of the second act and is an attempt to delve in more details into the composition of this particular structure.

 

The act II of Semiramide opens with a typical Rossinian duet outlined in the table below. All the elements of the duet are readily identifiable and yet, Rossini succeeds in giving a strong direction to the entire scene. One of the important cohesion factors in the scene is the use of intense recitative to convey characters’ emotions. The scena of course, is where this compositional device can be best observed. The scena starts with a brief dialogue between Mitrane and Semiramide. The queen worried, asks Mitrane if Assur has been kept under control since the public announcement of her plans to marry Arsace. She fears how Assur might react and the music with a tremolo in the strings conveys Semiramide’s trembling when the name of her foe is evoked. But cutting short the conversation, Assur enters. At this point starts a confrontation that will span the rest of the scene.

 

 

Table III: Scene #1: Grand duet form – Assur and Semiramide

For the convenience of the analysis, I have started bar numbering at the beginning of Act II:

 

 

Scena

Tempo d’attacco

Cantabile

Tempo di mezzo

Cabaletta

Bars

1 – 111

112-191 (191-209 are transitory measures)

211-273

274-329

330-462

 

Tempo

 

Allegretto (mm. 1-64; Moderato (mm. 65-111)

 

Allegro

 

Andantino

 

Allegro mm. 274- 293 ; maestoso mm. 294-317 ; return to tempo 1 (allegro): mm. 317

 

 

Allegro

Text incipit

“Alla regia d’intorno”

“Se la vita ancore t’e cara”

“Quella ricordati, notte di morte!”

“Ma implacabile di Nino”

“La forza primiera”

Poetic meter

versi sciolti

Ottonario doppio

Quinario dopio

Ottonario doppio

Senario doppio

 

Key scheme

 

Aà D à Db à F

 

Bb

 

G à g à

(Bb) à G

 

C à F à Eb à Half-cadence on F7

 

 

Bb à F à (Gb) Bb à F à Bb

Form

---

AB-AB

AB-AB - C

---

AAB-AAB-C

 

 

First, the scena is extended and we learn some important details about the regicide and the two protagonists’ role in it. Here, as is the case in many other moments in the opera, Rossini uses a motive to refer to the ghost of Nino (mm. 65-72.)

The scena is all about that explication, the role of power in this history and the memory of Nino’s ghost. The word “throne” (soglio) is mentioned three times in a short time. Assur’s sole ambition is that throne. Love is apparently not something that flows in his veins. Semiramide, in contrast, is a more human character. While she has committed a crime for the sake of power she now shows that this power is meaningless without love surrounding it. She would give up that throne she says, to recover her son. Rossini conveys this emotion with a lyrical moment in F major “A me restava allora” at mm. 92-94.

 

Following the scena is the tempo d’attaco “Se la vita ancor t’è cara.” The tempo d’attaco is that necessary moment where the confrontation between the characters culminates for a first time. The music is set to two straight stanzas of eight-foot verses in an AB-AB form. Rossini opens that section with an ascending motif of eighth notes which comes back at m. 153 when Assur responds to Semiramide and also reappears later on in the tempo di mezzo (m 275-276 and 283-284.) There is nothing fancy about this section but it expresses well the built-up exacerbation that occurred in the scena.

 

After a very brief transition comes the cantabile. Rossini’s skill is in full display here. Interestingly, this cantabile has in many ways a flavor of parlante as if Rossini had wanted to portray a conversation. The music renders well this intention by providing a walking bass line (initially melodic) accompanied by triplets of eighth notes and simple ascending motives in the strings. At first, the vocal line interacts with this accompaniment in a sparse way but soon becomes more active. Before becoming a fuller melodic line, it is rather a speech-like melody where interruptions occur on a frequent basis. As a result, the beginning has a kind of hesitant pace and then gives way to more secure intentions.

 

The cantabile is modeled closely on the poetic structure that Rossi provided the composer. This structure is outlined in Table III below.

 

Table IV: Rhyme Scheme of “Quella ricordati notte di morte!”

 

Assur (stanza 1)

Semiramide (stanza 2)

A:  Quella ricordati

C : Notte terribile!

B:  Notte di morte:

B:  Notte di morte!

C:  L'ombra terribile

L: Tre lustri corsero,

B:  Del tuo consorte,

B:  E del consorte

D:  Che minaccioso,

M: L'ombra sdegnosa,

E:  Infra le tenebre,

E:  Infra le tenebre,

D:  Il tuo riposo

M: L'indegna sposa

F:  Funesta ognor.

F:  Minaccia ognor!

G:  I tuoi spaventi,

G: I miei spaventi...

G:  I tuoi tormenti,

G: I miei tormenti,

H:  Le angoscie, i palpiti,

H: Le angoscie, i palpiti,

I:   Leggier supplizio

I:  A tuo supplizio

J:   Sono al colpevole

N: Gli Dei rivolgano,

K: Tuo ingrato cor.

K: Perfido cor.

 

 

As can be seen above, there are many coincidence points between the two stanzas and Rossini did not overlook those possibilities laid out by Rossi. In fact, he seems to have taken great care in reflecting that structure in the music.

 

In essence he used a ternary form that can be expressed in the following order:

 

Section 1: mm. 211-232. This section sang by Assur corresponds to the first stanza of text. It is mostly in G with a motion to e in mm. 216-222. The section is closed by an unexpected P.A.C. to g. The surprise allows the piece to continue with Semiramide’s entrance.

 

Section 2: mm. 233-251. This section in g is sang by Semiramide and corresponds to the second stanza of text. Rossini used much of the same music from the first section here. The I.A.C. at the end of the section allows for a continuation. Assur also sings in this section but his lines are more of a kind of interjections type.

 

Section 3: mm. 251-273. This section is the duet-proper section. It is set in G and employs mostly lines FGGHI of the text. This section is sustained by frequent I.A.C.s and closed by a cadenza.

 

 

Interesting parallels can be observed when comparing mm. 222-224 to mm. 241-243 for example. Both excerpts share similar text: A. Assur sings “funesta ognor (rhyme F) – I tuoi spaventi (rhyme G)” ; B. Semiramide sings “Minnacia ognor (rhyme F) – I miei spaventi (rhyme G.)” Rossini made those two points coincide with similar harmonic motions—the first is a return to G while the second exploits the third relation by going to Bb. As seen in the table above, the parallel in the text continues for a few more lines. Rossini made sure to emulate this relation in the music by reutilizing the same melodic materials in both parts.

 

Rossini took further advantage of the parallels in the text to bring Semiramide and Assur together in the third section of the cantabile. In what is essentially a succession of imperfect authentic cadences, Rossini superimposed the last few verses from both stanzas. This section is itself cut in two parts elongated by a short coda (mm. 271-273.) Each section culminates with a secondary dominant leading to ii (V7/ii in G.)

 

In a very quick tempo di mezzo, Rossini succeeds at changing the mood completely. An unexpected modulation to Eb corresponds with festive music heard in the background. This is music of celebration for the new king-to-be, Arsace. Through that moment Semiramide regains confidence and a hold of herself. This triggers a typical cabaletta in an AAB—AAB form with both parts moving from tonic to dominant. To the core of this cabaletta is added section C that serves as a sort of retransition in its first occurrence and then as a lead to the coda in its second occurrence.

 

The A section of the cabaletta fits perfectly the conventions of 16-bar melodies outlined by Steven Huebner in an article about lyric forms in Ottocento operas.[8] Section A is composed of two groups of two four-bar phrases. The first group of two bars is structured in an antecedent-consequent period. In practical terms, mm. 331-334 is answered by mm. 335-338. This evidently corresponds to the first four lines of the eight-verse stanza. The second group of two four-bar phrase starts with what Huebner refers to as a ‘medial’ four bar phrase and is then followed by a ‘return’ of a melodic idea in the tonic key similar to the one used in the first eight bars. This second group of four-bar phrase of course uses the remainder four lines of the stanza. In the dominant key of F, Assur then repeats this structure first uttered by Semiramide.

 

 

Second Grand duet: Semiramide – Arsace.

 

Our attention now turns to the second grand duet of the act, which has even grander proportions than the first one. This number involves Semiramide and Arsace. The scena employs again this intense recitative where the orchestra punctuates the dialogue between characters (often with dotted rhythm—a chord of sixteenth notes followed a chord of quarter notes.) Here as well the ghost of Nino is evoked through the same motif (m. 42-43.) Quite remarkable is the outburst of romanticism corresponding to a parallel evocation of Nino’s memory (rather than his ghost.) Rossini allowed for a temporary motion to A major and a complete change of pace to andante maestoso. This wave of loving warmth however lasts only for five measures after which, there is a return to the previous agitated mood. The end of the scena corresponds to Semiramide’s realization that Arsace is her son. Rossini follows perfectly the logical structure of the plot.

Table V: Scene 4: Grand duet form –Semiramide and Arsace

For the convenience of the analysis, I have started bar numbering at the beginning of Act II:

 

 

Scena

Tempo d’attacco

Cantabile

Tempo di mezzo

Cabaletta

Bars

1 – 88

89 -228

229-293

294-326

327-624

Tempo

Allegro agitato mm.1-41 ;  Moderato (mm. 42-60 ); Andante maestoso. mm. 61-65 ;

Return to moderato not written in score

Allegro agitato

Andante sostenuto

Allegro

Allegro

Text incipit

“No: non ti lascio”

“Ebben,

a te: ferisci”

“Giorno d’orror”

“Madre, addio”

“Tu serena intanto il ciglio”

Poetic meter

versi sciolti

Settenario

Quinario dopio

versi sciolti

ottonario

Key scheme

c à Eb à (d) à (f) à A à E

e à E à

E à B

G

E à B7

E à B à E à

Bà E

Form

---

AB-AB-C (aborted Section C)

AB-coda

---

AB-AB-

Coda

 

The tempo d’attaco in a traditional fashion brings the characters into a confrontation. Unmasked by her son, the guilty queen of Babylon asks him to kill her with no further a due. The allegro agitato conveys well this state of mind where the characters react in a completely emotional manner. This agitation is partly diffused through parlante melodico style where swift string melodic motives responding to each other are accompanied by a constant buzz of fast-paced repeated chords. Semiramide starts off the aria with a flamboyant perfect forth to E and gradually ascent from this pitch to F and finally G hence building gradually the tension. This first phrase covers the first quatrain of verses. At this point Rossini put forth an unexpected and almost jolly section in E major that sets the next two verses (punish your guilty mother.) Perhaps the composer wished to appeal to a sentiment of pity in Arsace, a sentiment that the audience might have shared. Indeed, the character of Semiramide is not completely antipathic. Following Semiramide’s stanza, Arsace sings another stanza moving from the tonic E to the dominant B. The music is essentially the same as the first time around. To this AB-AB structure is added an aborted section C that combines some elements of the two sections and acts as a very quick transition to the cantabile.

 

In this cantabile are found again the familiar sixteen-bar aria structure discussed earlier. The first eight-bar structure begins at m.234 (“Giorno d’orrore”) and ends with a half cadence at m. 240 (“in tal momento”). To this first eight-bars antecedent responds a modulating consequent set of eight bars starting at m. 246 (“scorda il mio core”) and closing with a phrase moving to b minor (“Di sua terribile fatalita”) This first sixteen-bar structure covers the first half of the stanza. A second structure starts off at m. 250 (“e dolce al misero”) and ends at m. 267 (“Trovar pieta.”) As nothing works without exceptions, this second structure is actually one bar longer than the standard sixteen.[9] Nevertheless, it covers the second half of the stanza. Rossini also added a third structure covering a second time the last half of the stanza. This last set starts at m. 267 (“e dolce al misero”) and ends on the downbeat of m. 284 (“Trovar pieta.”) Hence, Rossini emphasized the more loving and less anguishing part of the text. To this third structure is added a short coda from mm. 284-293 that also emphasizes the loving sentiment of the text (“Trovar pieta.”)

 

In that manner this cantabile, as opposed to the one of the previous duet, provides a moment of loving union and a halt from the high anxiety levels of the plot. There is no question of confrontation here and Rossini portrays that by having the two characters sing the same melody in thirds throughout the air. Only the first half of the air provides allusions to the harsh situation and Rossini made sure to underline this. For example, with the allusion to the terrible fate of the day “Di sua terribile fatalita” Rossini allowed for a motion to B minor that also corresponds with a sudden forte dynamic. A few measures later he then paints the word “misero” with chromaticism. However, the second part of the cantabile lets us forget about negative emotions through love-filled lyrical lines.

 

This tender cantabile makes place for a swift and agitated tempo di mezzo where Arsace bids farewell to his mother. Anxiety is back in full swing here as Rossini paints the agitated mood through fast sixteenth-notes motifs in the string and builds up to the dominant chord of B7.

 

The duet ends on a cabaletta of almost three hundred measures, a truly grand scale. Similarly to aria structures discussed above, the cabaletta uses units of sixteen bars. Rossini cleverly paints the question/answer character of the text by using a series of antecedent-consequent phrases. For example, while Arsace tries to reassure his mother in the first eight bars (“Tu serena intato il ciglio”), Semiramide expresses her worries in a second set of eight bars (“Ah! Non so di qual periglio”). After this a repeat of this unit of sixteen bars, the text provides accelerated exchanges between the characters. Rossini portrayed those rapid exchanges with short phrases of four bars (one verse of text equaling four bars.) There are six sets of such four-bar units during which Rossini, to further augment the excitement, uses a typical ground swell as orchestral accompaniment to the fast-paced eight-notes of the soloists. The effect literally lifts one up his feet and efficiently conveys the agitated state of mind of the characters. This section culminates with the soloists singing simultaneously for the first time (“Dal terribile cimento”). The composer slowly brings the music to the dominant B7 hence, preparing the repeat of the first section. After that repeat, the cabaletta ends on a spectacular coda and the orchestra subtly reminds us of the tempo d’attaco using similar swift string melodic motives responding to each other (mm. 612-619.)

 


The two duets analyzed above serve as examples of Rossini’s skill in making original use of conventional aria structures. As Gossett mentions, the composer uses that structure as a kind of kaleidoscope where internal details such as melody, rhythm, and orchestration make the difference. Rossini’s skill at matching closely the text never makes for a boring result. Transitory movements during which the plot develops prepare each part of the aria. Despite this classicism and music that could seem gratuitous to some, Semiramide works. Rossini does indulge us in pure musical moments where music seems to be there for the sake of music. This is the excitement of opera, the entertainment that the average operagoer relishes. Beyond that, all those seemingly separate numbers come together in one large structure of monumental quality. In a grand manner, the opera closes the composer’s Italian career and sets a powerful formal model against which a new generation of composers will be able to compare.


Bibliography

 

Black, John. 'Rossi, Gaetano', Grove Music Online (Accessed 11 December 2005),

<http://www.grovemusic.com/shared/views/article.html?section=opera.904388>

 

___________. ”Rossini, Gioachino, §4: Naples and the Opera Seria, 1815–23.” Grove

Music Online (Accessed 11 December 2005), <http://www.grovemusic.com/shared/views/article.html?section=music.23901.4>

 

Gossett, Philp. “Rossini, Seriously.” Opera News 55.7 (Dec. 1990): 20-23.

 

Gossett, Philip. “Semiramide and the Elaboration of Rossini’s Stylistic Vision.” Liner

notes to Giocchanino Rossini, Semiramide, London Symphony Orchestra, cond.

Ion Marin. Digital disc. Deutsche Grammophon, 437 797-2, 1994, p. 9-18.     

 

Huebner, Steven. “Lyric Form in ‘Ottocento’ Opera.” Journal of the Royal Musical

Association 117.1 (1992): 123-47.

 

James, Jamie. “Babylonian Enigma.” Opera News 57.9 (Jan. 1993): 16-19.

 

McClymonds, Marita. “Vendetta di Nino, La', Grove Music Online (Accessed 13

Dec. 2005), <http://www.grovemusic.com/shared/views/article.html?section=opera.905437>

 

Moreen, Robert A. Integration of text forms and musical forms in Verdi’s Early

Operas. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms, 1975.

 

Neville, Don. “Semiramide riconosciuta.” Grove Music Online (Accessed 11 Dec. 2005),

<http://www.grovemusic.com/shared/views/article.html?section=opera.007348>.

 

Osborne, Richard. Rossini. Boston: Northeastern University Press. 1986, 330p.

 

Osborne, Rischard. “Semiramide.” Grove Music Online (Accessed 11 December 2005)            <http://www.grovemusic.com/shared/views/article.html?section=opera.904698>

 

Rossini, Giocchanino. Semiramide. London Symphony Orchestra, cond. Ion Marin.

Digital disc. Deutsche Grammophon, 437 797-2, 1994.

 

Rossini, Giocchanino. Semiramide: an Opera in Two Acts. New York : E.F. Kalmus.

Vocal score, 1960.

 



[1] Black, John. 'Rossi, Gaetano', Grove Music Online (Accessed 11 December 2005), <http://www.grovemusic.com/shared/views/article.html?section=opera.904388>

[2] Gossett, Philip. “Semiramide and the Elaboration of Rossini’s Stylistic Vision.” Liner notes to Giocchanino Rossini, Semiramide, London Symphony Orchestra, cond. Ion Marin. Digital disc. Deutsche Grammophon, 437 797-2, 1994, p. 10.      

[3] Ibid., p. 12.

          [4] Neville, Don. “Semiramide riconosciuta.” Grove Music Online (Accessed 11 Dec. 2005), <http://www.grovemusic.com/shared/views/article.html?section=opera.007348>.

 

[5] McClymonds, Marita. “Vendetta di Nino, La', Grove Music Online (Accessed 13 Dec. 2005), <http://www.grovemusic.com/shared/views/article.html?section=opera.905437>

[6] James, Jamie. “Babylonian Enigma.” Opera News 57.9 (Jan. 1993): 18.

[7] Gossett, Philip. “Semiramide and the Elaboration of Rossini’s Stylistic Vision.” Liner notes to Giocchanino Rossini, Semiramide, London Symphony Orchestra, cond. Ion Marin. Digital disc. Deutsche Grammophon, 437 797-2, 1994, p. 9-10.

[8] Huebner, Steven. “Lyric Form in ‘Ottocento’ Opera.” Journal of the Royal MusicalAssociation 117.1 (1992): 124-5.

[9] The last four bars of the structure are augmented by a lyrical extension.