Gioachino Rossini and Isabella Colbran
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The greatest classical valentines
8. Gioachino Rossini and Isabella Colbran
In 1815 Rossini composed the title role of 'Elizabeth, Queen of England' especially for the Spanish prima donna. She moved with the composer - who was seven years her junior - to Bologna in 1822, where they married. She created the title role of Semiramide before retiring from singing aged 42. Colbran had a gambling problem and her health declined. Despite separating, Rossini continued to support her and always credited her as being the greatest interpreter of his music.