Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) left his mark on his era: several biographies were written about him during his lifetime, including, Stendhal’s The Life of Rossini. Balzac and Dumas both wrote novels in which he occupies a special place. But do we really know him? In terms of music, the operas he composed for Venice, Naples, Rome and Milan have never left the public cold or indifferent. His talent, stretched to the limits by near-impossible rhythms, expresses itself through boundless melodic invention, by the quality of the orchestration and, above all, by the incredibly original way in which he uses voices. Though scrutinized and adulated, the person himself remains largely unknown which has given rise to some hair-brained interpretations. Rossini, a lazy buffoon saved by his talent? A lackadaisical genius who decided to retire at the age of 37? This book attempts to take stock and shed light on the "Rossini renaissance" that took root in the 1980s.