Opera Explained – Tancredi
  
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Rossini’s comic operas, like The Barber of Seville, are better known than his tragedies though he wrote in fact many more tragedies than comedies. One of them, his last, William Tell, is actually credited with launching the whole age of Grand Opéra. Tancredi is an early work – indeed his first smash hit – and it established his international fame. It has all the youthful verve of the comedies allied to a sure dramatic sense, and several of the arias, including the famous ‘Di tanti palpiti’, are magnificent examples of the sort of virtuoso vocal writing that earns the title ‘bel canto’: ‘beautiful singing’, first and last.
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