What do leaping frogs and composer Gioachino Rossini have in common? Well, thanks to today’s Google doodle the two are brought together rather comically not only does today mark the cosmic anomaly of leap day but its also the 220th birthday of Rossini or his 53rd, depending upon which way you roll.
After some Googling of my own, it would appear the frogs who have made previous leaping appearances in the search engines doodle are paying tribute to The Barber of Seville, Rossinis famous 1816 comic opera and also one of the most-performed on stage.
The Librarys own National Jukebox has pulled together more than 50 selections of Rossinis compositions, including several from the noted opera. In addition, the Librarys collections include several pieces of sheet music, including this one for piano, titled Barbier de Seville, op. 36.
Rossini was born on Feb. 29, 1792, in Pesaro, Italy. He has works listed as early as 1801. At 12, he delivered a set of six sonatas for strings, which scholars actually discovered the original scores in the Library of Congress following World War II. Rossinis other famous operas include William Tell (1829), Semiramide (1823) and Cinderella (1817). He died Nov. 13, 1868.
According to statistics, the probability of a birthday falling on leap day is 1 in 1461. To put another number on it, that means nearly 5 million people worldwide are leapers. Now, whether they celebrate on Feb. 28 or March 1 on non-leap years is a matter of personal preference. Personally, Id celebrate both days for double the gifts and fun! Of course, Id likely only officially mark the event in accordance with the leap calendar you know, to stay younger longer.