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Pulling Strings

            Gioachino Rossini was a composer of many great operas, but was also quite a womanizer.  One of his “loves” was Maria Marcolini, the former mistress of Napoleon’s brother. 

When Napoleon, who had occupied northern Italy, mandated compulsory enlistment in the French Army, Marcolini was able to pull some strings to get Rossini an exemption.  Otherwise we’d be missing some very good operas!