Obituary: Philip Gossett Passes Away at 75

By Francisco Salazar

American musicologist and historian Philip Gossett has died at 75.

Gossett dedicated his career and interest to 19th-century Italian opera, a path that had its beginnings when he started listening to the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts in his youth.

Gossett became an authority on the operas of Rossini and Verdi and advised many productions of the Rossini Opera Festival in Italy. He went on to work directly with the Instituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani and worked with the Teatro Regio di Parma for the 100th anniversary of Verdi’s death.

A distinguished professor at the University of Chicago, Gossett prepared critical editions of 70 Rossini operas including “Tancredi,” “Ermione,” and “Semiramide,” and 33 Verdi operas, including “La Forza del Destino.”

Gossett worked as a consultant with numerous opera companies, including Houston Grand Opera on its 1979 production of “Tancredi,” and the Metropolitan Opera on its 1990 production of “Semiramide” and its 1993 production of “Stiffelio.”

He also worked at the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Santa Fe Opera in 2000, and as the consultant for the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 presentations of Verdi’s “Attila.”

Gossett published numerous essays and books, including “The Operas of Rossini: Problems of Textual Criticism in Nineteenth-Century Opera,” “Early Romantic Opera: Bellini, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Donizetti, and Grand Opera in Paris,” edited with introductions by Philip Gossett and Charles Rosen, and most famously “Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera.”