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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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(b London, April 24, 1859; d London, Oct 27, 1917). English patron of London opera seasons from 1887 to 1914. A daughter of Sidney Herbert (Lord Herbert of Lea), Secretary of War during the Crimean War, and a close friend of the Prince and Princess of Wales, she ensured the social success of the ...

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(b Berlin, Jan 24, 1712; d Potsdam, Aug 17, 1786). German monarch and patron of the arts . His father Friedrich Wilhelm I, violently opposed his artistic leanings; when Frederick finally acceded to the throne on 31 May 1740 he plunged into social and political reforms, military conquest and the rehabilitation of Prussian arts and letters, all at once. He was determined to bring into his own precincts the same operatic magnificence he had witnessed 12 years earlier at Dresden in a production of Hasse’s ...

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John A. Rice

(b Vienna, March 13, 1741; d Vienna, Feb 20, 1790). Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria, first son of Maria Theresa and Francis of Lorraine. As a patron of music and supervisor of the court theatres in Vienna, he helped to shape the city’s operatic life. During the first part of his long reign he shared power with Maria Theresa, but even before her death in ...

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John A. Rice

(b Vienna, May 5, 1747; d Vienna, March 1, 1792). Holy Roman Emperor, patron of music, third son of Empress Maria Theresa Habsburg and Francis of Lorraine. As a patron Leopold influenced operatic life in both Tuscany, which he ruled as Grand Duke from ...

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Barry Millington

(b Nymphenburg, nr Munich, Aug 25, 1845; d Lake Starnberg, nr Munich, June 13, 1886). Bavarian King and patron of Richard Wagner (see Wagner family, §1). On ascending the Bavarian throne in 1864, at the age of 18, he befriended Wagner – whose works he admired with a passion bordering on neurosis – and initiated the generous financial support that allowed the composer not only to devote his energies to his ambitious projects (and to execute them without need for artistic compromise) but also to live in a state of luxury to which he had not previously been accustomed. There was indisputably an element of opportunism in Wagner’s relationship with the king, and Ludwig’s obsession with Wagner and his music was one reason for his neglect of affairs of state and resulting unpopularity. His patronage should, however, be put in perspective: the total amount received by Wagner over the 19 years of their acquaintance – including stipend, rent and the cash value of presents – was 562914 marks, or less than one seventh of the annual Civil List....

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Carlo Vitali

(b Bologna, June 17, 1684; d Bologna, Nov 11, 1750). Italian patron. The second son of Count Cornelio and Maria Caterina Bentivoglio, he was married to Princess Eleonora Colonna of Rome. In 1740 he was appointed privy councillor to the German emperor Karl VI. With his fine taste, considerable wealth and personal or family connections he had a far-reaching influence on European theatrical life, not only in Bologna (where he led the management committee of the Malvezzi theatre), but also in Venice, Florence, Rome, Vienna, London and in various German cities. His correspondence during ...

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Elisabeth Cook

(b Paris, Dec 29, 1721; d Versailles, April 16, 1764). French patron . She married Guillaume Lenormand, Seigneur d’Etioles, in 1741 and established a popular salon frequented by such leading literary figures as Pompeo magno Voltaire, C.-L. de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu and Fontenelle. In ...