“I had an awful seconda donna for my opera, Ciro in Babilonia. Besides being hideously ugly, she had the most wretched voice. After trying it with the utmost care I discovered that she possessed one single good note. So I wrote an aria for her in which she had nothing but this note to sing. All the rest I put into the orchestra, and as it was liked and applauded, my singer of the one note was delighted with her triumph.” — Gioachino Rossini

(Hat-tip to an anonymous poster on Parterre.com.)