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Nancy Dersofi

(b Padua c1496; d Padua, March 17, 1542). Italian playwright, actor, singer and poet. His plays are remarkable for their innovative use of popular Paduan genres combined with pastoral eclogue and learned comedy in imitation of antiquity. In the plays 52 songs, mentioned or sung, divide scenes or carry the action, as in ...

Article

Charles Warren

(b 1509–10; d Venice, Feb 23, 1571). Italian actor, poet and writer of comedies, active in Venice. Some of his poems were set by Lodovico Agostini in Musica sopra le rime bizzarre di M. Andrea Calmo, & altri autori (1567). More significant are his ‘piacevoli et ingeniosi discorsi in più lettere compresi’ (ed. in Rossi), which include many references to music and musicians. A few of these fanciful letters in dialect are addressed to composers of his day, for example Willaert, whose music, according to Calmo, was alchemically ‘distilled’, ‘purged’ and ‘refined’ to the point where it had reached ‘la condition de l'aurum potabile’ (Rossi, p.199). Calmo was also an able musician in his own right in the tradition of the humanist ...

Article

John M. Ward and Andrew Ashbee

(d July 7, 1545). English musician, actor and businessman. By 1506 he was a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal and was listed among the Fraternity of St Nicholas, London. In 1523 he succeeded William Cornysh (ii) as Master of the Children of the Chapel, a post he held for 22 years. There is no evidence that he composed. While he was a member of the chapel he was much concerned with theatrical presentations. During the early years of Henry VIII’s reign he was one of the chief actors in many pageants and disguisings, including ...

Article

(b Naples, c1530; d Naples, Jan 1602). Italian harpist, singer, composer and actor. He was generally known as ‘dell’Arpa’ because of his outstanding playing of the double harp. His improvisatory skills were praised by several Neapolitan writers, among them Giovan Battista del Tufo (...

Article

Charles Warren

( bc 1495–7; d ?Venice, after in or 1571). Italian actor, poet and musician . In a sonnet that he set in his 1568 volume he stated that he was then over 70. He lived in Venice. According to the dedicatory letter by Lodovico Dolce in ...