The composer Giaochino Rossini wrote quickly, and La gazza ladra was no exception. According to legend, before the first performance of the opera, the producer assured the composition of the overture by locking Rossini in a room, from the window of which the composer threw out the sheets of music to the copyists who then wrote the orchestral parts, to complete the composition of the opera.[citation needed] As such, The Thieving Magpie is best known for the overture, which is musically notable for its use of snare drums. The unique inspiration in the melodies is extreme, famously used to bizarre and dramatic effect in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. It was referenced by Haruki Murakami in his work The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at the very beginning of the book. This memorable section in Rossini's overture evokes the image of the opera's main subject: a devilishly clever, thieving magpie.

Original Name La gazza ladra
Librettist Giovanni Gherardini (Based on "La pie voleuse" by Jean-Marie-Theodor Badouin d'Aubigny and Louis-Charles Caigniez)
Date of composition 1817
Premiered 1817, May 31st in Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Type Opera
Approx. duration 180 minutes
Spoken language Italian
Instruments Voice (Bass) - Fabrizio Vingradito, ricco fittaiuolo (a rich farmer)
Voice (Mezzo-Soprano) - Lucia, moglie di Fabrizio (Fabrizio's wife)
Voice (Tenor) - Giannetto, figlio di Fabrizio; militare (Fabrizio's son, a soldier)
Voice (Soprano) - Ninetta, serva in casa di Fabrizio (Fabrizio’s servant)
Voice (Bass) - Fernando Villabella, padre della Ninetta; militare (Ninetta’s father, a soldier)
Voice (Bass) - Gottardo, podestà del villaggio (village mayor)
Voice (Contralto) - Pippo, giovine contadinello al servigio di Fabrizio (a young peasant, employed by Fabrizio)
Voice (Tenor) - Isacco, venditore ambulante (a pedlar)
Voice (Tenor) - Antonio, carceriere (the gaoler)
Voice (Bass) - Giorgio, servo del podestà (servant to the mayor)
Voice (Bass) - Ernesto, compagno ed amico di Fernando, militare (a soldier, friend of Fernando)
Chorus/Choir - Genti d'arme, contadini e contadine, famigli di Fabrizio
In listings Famous Works
Autotranslations beta Gioachino Rossini: The Thieving Magpie
Gioachino Rossini: The Thieving Magpie
Gioachino Rossini: The Thieving Magpie