La gazza ladra

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La Gazza Ladra, otherwise known as The Thieving Magpie, is an opera and overture by Gioacchino Rossini. It was written in 1817 and the overture is notable for its significant use of snare drums.

The opera begins with a young girl, Ninetta Villabella, who works as a house maid to a wealthy farmowner. Some expensive silver cutlery goes missing and Ninetta is blamed, though it was actually stolen by the magpie. Ninetta is condemned to death, and it is only the discovery of the cutlery in the magpie's nest that saves Ninetta's life.

The opera is notable for an unusual march to the scaffold in Act II, which is chilling music, unlike any of Rossini's other. Also, the opera is noted for the way is starts in a lighter style, getting more serious towards the Act II Finale.

Rossini is famous for his writing speed, and La Gazza Ladra is no different. It is reported that the producer had to lock Rossini in a room the day before the first performance in order to write the overture. Rossini then threw each sheet out of the window to his copyists who wrote out the full orchestral parts. This overture, beginning and ending in E Major, though passing through G Major, makes a few appearances in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, and has also provided the background score for many television and radio commercials.de:La Gazza Ladra Template:Opera-stub

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