|Viaggio a Reims, Il (The Journey to Rheims)|
A group of visitors from a number of countries gathers at the Inn of the Golden Fleur-de- Lys, preparing to attend the coronation in Rheims. At their centre is the famous Roman poetess Corinna, with a Greek orphan girl, an elderly antiquarian, an English colonel and others. The comedy lies in the interaction of the various nationalities and characters, the whole piece ending in a final entertainment that includes a ballet and a series of national songs.
Rossini wrote Il viaggio a Reims, ossia L’albergo del giglio d’oro (The Journey to Rheims, or The Inn of the Golden Fleur-de-Lys) in celebration of the coronation of Charles X. The work was also intended to serve his own reputation in Paris, where he was now proposing to establish himself. As a pièce d’occasion it was withdrawn by the composer after the fourth performance, some of the score later to be borrowed for Le Comte Ory (Count Ory). Revived only 150 years after its composition, when the score was rediscovered, the opera has a fascinating series of contrasted arias and admirable international ensembles.