In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera


Feb 25, 2012 9:20:00 AM
By BLO Staff

"I know of no more admirable occupation than eating"
"Caruso can have his spaghetti with chicken livers, Nellie Melba her
toast and peaches. When it comes to Rossini it's all truffles, foie gras and
Madeira sauce. Tournedos Rossini, perhaps the most famous of the dishes
identified with him, consists of a filet mignon sauteed in butter, then placed
on a crouton, also sauteed in butter. This assembly is topped with foie gras
and truffles and anointed with a rich Madeira sauce. This recipe was one that
Rossini is reputedly said to have suggested to the chef at the Cafe Anglais, the Le Cirque of the Second Empire. The name supposedly came about like this:
the maitre d'hotel prepared this dish at tableside but with his back to the
other customers so that they would not witness its excesses ... thus the French
phrase--"tourner le dos"--became tournedos."
                                        Florence Fabricant (New
York Times food editor) 
"We are unwell. It is from eating too much. The Maestro and I live to
eat ... I am the fat woman who is occupied from morning to evening in
                                        Olympe (Rossini's wife writing to a
"Appetite is for the stomach what love is for the heart ... The
stomach is the conductor who rules the grand orchestra of our passion ... Eating,
loving, singing, and digesting are, in truth, the four acts of the comic opera
known as life."

Topics: General Opera, John Conklin, Rossini, The Barber of Seville

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