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Alina Nowak-Romanowicz

(b Pesaro, Nov 30, 1748; d Warsaw, March 27, 1812). Polish composer of Italian birth . He was known as an aria composer and ‘young virtuoso’ in 1777. Later he was conductor at Prince Karol Radziwiłł’s residence at Nieśwież, and from 1782 maître de chapelle...

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(b Lisbon, June 24, 1744; d Madrid, c 1817). Portuguese tenor and composer active in Spain. He sang in Lisbon, Braga, Santiago de Compostela and Mondeñedo (after October 1772) and as maestro de capilla in Lugo (after July 1775) and Astorga (after ...

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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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Robert Lamar Weaver

(bc1755; dc1829). Italian impresario and librettist. His family was from Vicenza. Though trained as a lawyer, he chose instead to become an actor like his parents, and joined first Pietro Rossi’s company in Venice and then, around 1777, the Compagnia Nazionale Toscana in Florence, directed by Giovanni Roffi. His first tragedy, ...

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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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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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Elisabeth Cook

(b Vienna, Nov 2, 1755; d Paris, Oct 16, 1793). Queen of France and patron of opera . The daughter of Emperor Franz I of Austria, she received her early tuition from Gluck (clavecin and singing) and Noverre (dance and deportment). As dauphine (...

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Michaela Freemanová and Geoffrey Chew

Czech composer. He was a teacher in Nemyčeves near Jičín (1760–92), then in Kopidlno. Most of his work output consists of church music, but he also wrote the Opera de rebellione boëmica rusticorum, which deals with the great peasant rebellion in East Bohemia of ...

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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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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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Thomas Bauman

(b Lyck, East Prussia, June 8, 1756; d Königsberg, March 27, 1823). German librettist. At 21, after studying law at Königsberg, he went blind. Thereafter he taught history at an artillery academy and wrote novels, several works on Prussian history and musical texts for local use. Three of his librettos were published in ...

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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 (...

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Dennis Libby

(b ?Genoa, ?1758; d after 1784). Italian soprano . She was said to have come from an impoverished noble Genoese family, her real name being Maria Bertaldi. Although she sang in opera seria alone from 1778 to 1784, retiring after her marriage, she made a great impression and was long remembered. She appeared at Pavia, Venice, Milan (as seconda donna in the distinguished company that opened La Scala in ...

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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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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(fl 1772–98). Italian soprano. She was prima buffa in the Italian opera company at the King’s Theatre, London, in the 1786–7 season, when Burney found her singing ‘extremely graceful and pleasing’, and she substituted for Mara in Tarchi’s serious opera Virginia. She had been singing in Italy since ...

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Sybil Rosenfeld

( fl 1766–71). Italian stage designer . A native of Bologna, he was scene painter and machinist with his fellow townsman, Vincenzo Conti, at the King’s Theatre in London (from 1766 to 1771), though Conti did not operate after 1767–8. The most important operas for which Bigari provided scenery were J. C. Bach’s ...

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Gabriella Biagi Ravenni

(b Lucca, Feb 5, 1742; d after 1798). Italian librettist, dancer and choreographer. A brother of Luigi Boccherini, he made his début as a dancer in Venice in 1757, but his major successes were achieved in Vienna between 1759 and 1767 (for example, Noverre’s revived ...

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Marita P. McClymonds

(b Salò, Feb 26, 1752; d 1797 or later). Italian librettist . He joined those who were producing innovatory opera seria librettos for Venetian theatres in the 1790s. His handful of works represents a wide range of subject matter including plots taking their inspiration from earlier librettos (...

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Thomas Bauman

(b Stettin [now Szczecin], Nov 15, 1735; d Berlin, Nov 10, 1799). German playwright. He fled his family business at the age of 18 and eventually joined an itinerant theatrical company. He was an indifferent actor but won considerable popularity as a playwright. In ...

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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 ...