In 1819, a watershed year in the Milanese debates between "classicism" and "romanticism," Rossini prepared Bianca e Falliero, o sia Il consiglio dei Tre (Bianca and Falliero, or The Council of Three) for La Scala, where his opere serie had never fared well. Working with a confirmed "classicist" librettist, he created a traditionally structured bel canto tour-de-force that ran for thirty-nine performances—still a record for his serious operas at La Scala.
Heavily butchered in later productions, Bianca e Falliero soon disappeared from the stage, but its finest pieces remained in concert repertory for half a century. The critical edition—the first publication of the full score—restores the original Milan version. An appendix offers Rossini's vocal variants for the two lead roles.