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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b c1758; d Torquay, March 8, 1821). English soprano and composer. She made her début in October 1775 as the little gypsy in May Day, a piece designed for her by Garrick with music by her teacher Thomas Arne. However, she had limited success as a stage personality and in ...

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Thomas Bauman and Paul Corneilson

(b Rohr, nr Rothenburg, Bavaria, Feb 22, 1740, or Munich, July 6, 1743; d Vienna, Aug 24, 1804). German tenor. In 1755 he studied singing with J.E. Walleshauser (Giovanni Valesi) while at the Domus Gregoriana, a Jesuit institution in Munich. In 1760 he joined the Kapelle of Duke Clemens and on Clemens’s death in ...

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(b Modena, 1722; d Berlin, 1780). Italian soprano, wife of Johann Friedrich Agricola. She was the first of the three leading ladies (the other two were Giovanna Astrua and Elisabeth Schmeling Mara) at the Berlin Opera under Frederick the Great. A pupil of Porpora, Hasse and Salimbeni, she made her début as prima donna in C.H. Graun’s ...

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Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell

(b Ferrara, 1743; d Parma, May 18, 1783). Italian soprano. Traditions explaining her nickname describe her variously as a foundling raised by Leopoldo Aguiari, his natural daughter or that of Marchese Bentivoglio, while her pronounced limp was supposedly the result of having been partly eaten in infancy by a dog or hog. Her early studies in Ferrara with Brizio Petrucci, ...

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(b Albano Laziale, nr Rome, 1729; d Paris, 1800). French castrato and composer of Italian origin. Educated in Naples, he went to Paris in 1747 and soon found employment in the royal chapel of Louis XV. From 1752 to 1762 he was a prominent soloist in the Concert Spirituel, appearing frequently in performances of Pergolesi’s ...

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Dorothea Link

(fl 1782–99). Italian bass. He spent the early part of his career mainly in Rome. For the 1788–9 season he was a member of the opera buffa company in Vienna. He made his début on 4 April 1788 as Biscroma in Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus...

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Winton Dean

(fl 1699–1738). Italian alto castrato. His first known appearance was in Livorno in 1699. Probably from Florence, he had a long career there, singing in 24 operas, including works by Orlandini, Gasparini and Albinoni, 1701–38. He was employed by the Cardinal and later the Grand Duchess of Tuscany. He sang in Venice in ...

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Roland Würtz and Paul Corneilson

(b Venice, 1754; d Ireland, after 1801). Italian soprano. She made her début in 1770 in Venice and in 1771 went from Florence to Mannheim, possibly on a recommendation by Casanova to the Mannheim court poet, Mattia Verazi. Holzbauer gave her singing lessons and employed her as second soubrette in the court opera (...

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(b 1780; d after 1833). Italian bass . He sang in Italy from about 1807, then appeared at the Théâtre Italien, Paris (1815). Engaged at the King’s Theatre, London, he made his début as Count Almaviva, then sang Don Giovanni (1817...

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Kay Lipton

(b Venice, Sept 16, 1716; d Dresden, Nov 15, 1798). Italian tenor. He was considered one of the greatest tenors of the first half of the 18th century. He established his reputation as a singer of serious roles at the remarkably early age of 13, singing in revivals of Lanciani’s ...

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(b Lucca; d Lucca, April 23, 1797). Italian mezzo-soprano castrato. In 1736 he was appointed first soprano to the Palatine Chapel in Lucca. He sang in two operas (including Hasse's Demetrio) at Rimini in 1737, at Venice in 1738–9 in operas by Pergolesi, Lampugnani, Hasse and Porpora, and in Reggio nell'Emilia in ...

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Theodore Fenner

(b Reggio Emilia, c1765; fl 1786–1826). Italian bass. Between 1786 and 1794 he sang in some of the leading theatres in Italy, including those at Bologna, Florence, Venice, Turin and Milan. In 1794 he went to Vienna, singing in operas by Cimarosa and Paisiello at the Hoftheater until ...

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Winton Dean

(b Macerata, c1705; d ?Rome, 1779 or later). Italian alto castrato. Venice (1727 and 1729), he was engaged in 1729 for the Saxon court at Dresden at a salary of 792 thaler. He sang there in Hasse’s Cleofide (1731) and ...

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Dennis Libby

(b Rome, ?Feb 20, 1744; d Florence, July 5, 1826). Italian tenor. He began in opera seria in 1768 at Bologna and Venice, then appeared at Udine in 1770. He sang in Copenhagen (Sarti’s Demofoonte, 1771) and Germany, resuming his Italian career in ...

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Dale E. Monson

(b Martina Franca, Taranto, Oct 28, 1732; d Martina Franca, Jan 11, 1813). Italian soprano castrato and composer. His early musical training from his father, Fortunato (a notary and church singer), was followed when he was 19 by study with Gregorio Sciroli in Naples (thus his nickname). He made his début in Sciroli's ...

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John Rosselli

(b Como, c 1750–55; d after 1798). Italian castrato singer. Most of his career was spent in Russia. He sang the female leads in three successive seasons at the Teatro Argentina, Rome (1772–4), starting with Anfossi’s Alessandro nell’Indie, then appeared in Venice and Vienna, and reached St Petersburg in ...

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(b Paris, Feb 13, 1740; d Paris, Oct 22, 1802). French soprano. A precocious child, she studied Latin and Italian and received a solid general education. Her performance in sacred music impressed the royal family and Mme de Pompadour, and she was appointed to the Opéra, studying declamation with Clairon and singing with ...

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(b Bourmont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, June 7, 1732; d Paris, May 21, 1801). French impresario, singer and dramatist. He first made his name as a singer with the Opéra-Comique (after about 1758), chiefly in artisan roles; no doubt it was to exploit this special talent that he was allowed to put on an ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Bologna, Feb 19, 1754; d Bologna, Sept 22, 1816). Italian tenor . He studied with Arcangelo Cortoni and made his début in 1773 in Modena. After singing in various Italian cities, he was engaged at the court operas of Berlin and then St Petersburg (...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b London, ?1745; d Edinburgh, July 1, 1786). English actress and soprano . Daughter of the trumpeter Valentine Snow, she eloped with the actor Robert Baddeley and in 1764 made her début as Ophelia at Drury Lane. Although the prompter Hopkins found her Ophelia ‘very bad, all but the singing’, she made a charming heroine in genteel and Shakespearean comedy. In English operas she was particularly successful as Patty (...