Beethoven once said to Rossini before advising him not to attempt anything more serious the The Barber of Seville. Nevertheless, Rossini did return to composing opera seria. Ten years after Tancredi, he composed Semiramide. Taking up the legendary figure of the queen of Babylon, the composer weaves a breathtaking, tragic melodrama, which has become an exemplar of the bel canto. Semiramide is often considered a pivotal work in Rossini’s career and, as it was written before his departure for Paris, where he would remain until he died, it is also a kind of farewell to Italy.