Tancredi and L’Italiana in Algeri, Rossini’s tenth and eleventh operas, both premiered in Venice, launched the composer on an unstoppable career. They saw him become the most prestigious opera composer of his time. The formidable impresario Domenico Barbaja summoned Rossini to Naples and offered him the position of musical director of the city’s two Royal Theatres, the San Carlo and Fondo. Barbaja’s proposals appealed to Rossini for several reasons. Not only was his annual fee generous and guaranteed, but also the San Carlo had a professional orchestra, unlike the theatres of Venice and Rome. The composer also saw this as a considerable advantage as he aspired to push the boundaries of his opera composition in more adventurous directions. Under the terms of the contract, Rossini was to provide two operas each year for Naples whilst being permitted to compose occasional works for other cities. The composer tended to test the limits of this contract and in the first two years composed no fewer than five operas for other venues, including four for Rome.