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Article

Dennis Libby

(b Milan, c 1720; d after 1766). Italian tenor . He made his début in opera seria in Venice in autumn 1737, then sang with the Mingotti company in central Europe, resuming his Italian career in autumn 1740 when he was quickly recognized as a leading artist with engagements in the most important theatres. In Venice he sang in Gluck’s ...

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( fl 1719–42). Italian choreographer and dancer . He was probably a native of Florence, since he is often cited in librettos as ‘Francesco Aquilanti, Fiorentino’ or ‘da Firenze’. His early choreographic work was concentrated in Venice, where he provided ballets for 17 operas at the Teatro S Giovanni Grisostomo (...

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Philip Weller

( fl 1704–7). French soprano . After making her début at the Paris Opéra in 1704, as Venus and La Jeunesse in Destouches’ Le carnaval et la folie, she sang Iris in the revival of Lully’s Isis later that year. She created the role of Electra in Desmarets and Campra’s ...

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Dennis Libby

(b ?Rome, c 1720; d after 1755). Italian soprano . She is first found in comic opera in Naples in 1735–6, and was expelled from the kingdom for unknown reasons, probably her sexual conduct. She was seconda donna in opera seria in Parma in Carnival ...

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David Cummings

(b Graglia, nr Vercelli, 1720; d Turin, Oct 28, 1757). Italian soprano. After study with Bravio in Milan she made her début at the Teatro Regio, Turin, in Il Ciro riconosciuto by Leonardo Leo (1739). She sang at the Teatro S Samuele, Venice, from ...

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Thomas Bauman

(b Graz, Nov 19, 1722; d Vienna, May 18, 1809). Austrian librettist. Educated in medicine at the University of Vienna, he made a name for himself as the inventor of the percussion method of diagnosing diseases of the chest cavity (1761). In ...

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Harris S. Saunders

(b Bergamo; d ?Turin, by aut. 1720). Italian librettist. In Bergamo, he was a member of the Accademia degli Arioni. By 1686 he had moved to Venice and in 1687 he moved to Turin, by which time he was an abbate. In 1692...

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Hans Joachim Marx

(bc 1700; d after 1726). German bass . He was mentioned in the Hamburg Relations-Courier (4 Dec 1724) as ‘the new bass Mons. Bahn’, who was billed to sing Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo at the Gänsemarkt theatre. He had previously made his début as Mars on 2 November in Giovanni Porta’s ...

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Michael Talbot

(b ?Venice, 1700 or 1701; d Venice, Feb 1, 1733). Italian singer . Having sung contralto roles in operas performed in the provinces from as early as 1720, she made her Venetian début in Vignati’s I rivali generosi at S Samuele in 1726. Her career was short; the last opera in which she is known to have appeared was Orlandini’s ...

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Colin Timms

(b ?Massa; fl 1723–41). Italian singer . He was in the service of the Duke of Massa and Carrara in 1724–5, the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1729 and the Hereditary Prince of Modena from 1730 to 1736. He appeared in eight operas at Florence between ...

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Nicholas Temperley

(fl Castleton, Derbys., 1723–53). English psalmodist and ?composer. In 1723 he published the first edition of A Book of Psalmody in conjunction with John Barber. A second edition, by Robert Barber alone, followed in 1733, and a third, entitled David’s Harp Well Tuned...

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(b Bologna, fl 1716–67). Italian singer. She is referred to in some programmes as Ferrarese – perhaps through confusion with her father, the bass Francesco Belisani – but is the ‘Belisania’ mentioned in the celebrated frontispiece of Marcello’s Il teatro alla moda. She sang in ...

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( fl 1724–35). Italian librettist . He was a curious kind of literary adventurer: his output was small, his propensity to borrow tacitly from others great, and his lack of respect for the truth staggering. His first libretto was Amore e sdegno (original title Ottone amante...

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(fl Paris, 1733–50). French composer. He pursued a military career, but was praised by Voltaire for daring, as an aristocrat, to present his own compositions. He wrote two stage works. The first, a ballet-héroïque L’empire de l’Amour (prol., 3, F.-A. P. de Moncrif), given at the Opéra on ...

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Hans Joachim Marx

( fl c 1725). German soprano . She sang in Dresden before going to the Hamburg Gänsemarkt Opera in 1724. She made frequent appearances at the Hamburg Opera until 1726, under Telemann’s direction; her roles included Arethusa in Keiser’s Cupido (1724), Ursel in Keiser’s ...

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Hans Joachim Marx

(b before 1700; d after 1735). German bass . The singer described as ‘Ms. Braun’ in the libretto of the Hamburg Gänsemarkt Opera (not to be confused with the Hamburg town musician Friedrich Nicolas Braun) appeared as a guest artist in 1722. Telemann, the new director of the Gänsemarkt Opera, probably engaged him in Brunswick. He is known to have sung in three operas in Hamburg that year, by Orlandini, Telemann and Keiser. He seems to have returned to the Brunswick Opera, where he is recorded in ...

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Harris S. Saunders

(b Venice; fl 1709–10). Italian librettist . Briani wrote only two librettos, both for the Teatro S Giovanni Grisostomo, the most prestigious Venetian opera house of his day. They are in the elevated, serious style cultivated at this theatre, and their subjects are closely suited to Briani’s illustrious dedicatees. Both were set by Lotti. ...

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Franco Piperno

(b Florence; fl 1737–58). Italian mezzo-soprano . Initially a singer of intermezzos, in 1742 she married the bass Pietro Pertici, with whom she performed commedie per musica; as members of companies specializing in opera buffa the two contributed significantly to the wide success of the genre. Brogi took soubrette and leading juvenile roles in the highly successful comic operas of Auletta, Chinzer, Latilla and others. She worked mainly in Tuscany but also sang in Venice, Milan, Turin, Brescia, Mantua, Genoa and Bologna; outside Italy she appeared in comic opera in London (...

Article

Hans Joachim Marx

( fl c 1725). German tenor . He sang comic roles, such as servants or peasants, at the Hamburg Gänsemarkt Opera, 1722–8; he was also a dancer in opera performances. In 1722, under the composer’s musical direction, he sang Sancio in Telemann’s Don Quichotte der Löwenritter...

Article

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b London, Feb 4, 1723; d London, Aug 4, 1792). English dramatist . ‘Gentleman Johnny’ Burgoyne, the English general forced to surrender to the Americans at Saratoga (1777), was the librettist of William Jackson’s only successful opera, The Lord of the Manor...