Leap day makes this year leap... or bissextile.
Being born on February 29th must be frustrating when you're a kid. It becomes cool when you are older though. Gioachino Rossini, for instance, despite his 76 years long life, legitimately celebrated only 19 birthdays.
Google dedicated their opening page today to Gioachino's 220th birthday. Cool!
You must've already noticed that I am not into old divas, old recordings, I am against the idea that "all good in opera happened in the past", and I defend the idea that overall our singers today are better than those who sang in the past.
However, despite very many fantastic Rossini singers that we admire and enjoy listening today in live performances --Juan Diego Florez, Joyce DiDonato, Gregory Kunde, Daniela Barcellona, Lawrence Brownlee, Jennifer Larmore, Antonino Siragusa, Cecilia Bartoli, John Osborn, Vivica Genaux, Olga Peretyatko, Malena Ernman, Colin Lee ... -- I still get particularly thrilled when listening to Marilyn Horne's renditions of the Rossini's arias. An example of her glorious vocal palette is exhibited in the aria below [from La donna del lago]
Just noticed on operabase that Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots was premiered on February 29th 1836. Since he was a huge Rossini fan, I want to believe he had a special thought for the Rossini's 11th b'day while scheduling the premiere.