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Charles Pitt

(b Hinsbourg, Jan 4, 1904; d Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Sept 7, 1984). French conductor, composer and opera administrator . He studied in Strasbourg with Erb and in Paris with Koechlin and Gédalge. He joined the Strasbourg Opera in 1933 as a répétiteur and stayed until he retired in ...

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Max Loppert

(b Harpenden, June 4, 1952). English director . Born into a distinguished theatrical family (his father was the impresario Donald Albery) he first gained a reputation in the British regional and avant-garde theatre with distinctive modern reappraisals of the classics marked by a cool, highly refined sense of visual style. His first opera production was of ...

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John Rosselli

(bc 1625–6; d Rome, 1713).French-Italian theatre builder and impresario. A French nobleman from Orléans, he became secretary in 1662 to Queen Christina of Sweden (resident in Rome after her abdication), in whose service he remained till her death in 1689...

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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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Roland J. Vázquez

(b Portugal, 1836; d Madrid, May 21, 1886). Spanish impresario, actor and singer. He first became popular in comic roles at theTeatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid. In 1866 he formed his own company, the Bufos Madrileños, modelled on Offenbach’s Bouffes-Parisiens. It was an instant success. By ...

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Harold Rosenthal

(b Birmingham, Oct 19, 1913; d London, Jan 19, 1972). English administrator. He began his theatrical life in 1929 as an actor, but soon turned to stage management. After World War II he became general manager of the Old Vic and in 1951...

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Barry Millington

(b Hertford, April 16, 1950). English director . After a period as staff director for the WNO (1979–84) and Covent Garden (1984–6), and an impressive début with Parsifal for the WNO in 1983, he was responsible for a series of strongly characterized productions both at home and abroad. His ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b London, Sept 24, 1888; d London, July 9, 1981). English baritone and director. He studied at Oxford, making his début in 1919 with the Carl Rosa Opera Company, then sang with the O’Mara Opera Company and at the Old Vic. For Oxford University Opera Club (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Saint Lô, May 14, 1942). French director . At Toulouse in 1974 he directed Manon, which won the Cultural Ministry’s prize for best production of the year. He staged Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra at Aix and Le roi d’Ys at Wexford (1975), ...

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(fl 1636–57). Italian choreographer, dancer, stage designer and impresario. Probably born in Venice, he apparently was well known in 1637 when, in the libretto for Francesco Manelli’s Andromeda, he was cited as ‘Veneziano Ballarino celebre’. Over the next seven years he continued to provide choreography for Venetian operas, including Manelli’s ...

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(b Vercelli, 1770; d Milan, 1850). Italian impresario . He began as a croupier, and in later life deceived Berlioz and others by saying that he had been a tailleur (‘tailor’, but less obviously ‘card-cutter’). Gambling threw him together with Domenico Barbaia, whose assistant he became in his manifold enterprises as a gambling promoter and opera impresario, first in Venice from ...

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Elisabeth Cook

(b Pesaro, 1697; d Pesaro, 1770). Italian impresario . After serving as maestro di cappella at Cortona and Pesaro, he spent some time in Moravia, where his operas Partenope (1733) and La pravità castigata (1734) were performed. He became impresario of the Regio Ducal Teatro Nuovo in Milan in ...

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Ferenc Bónis

(b Kolozsvár [now Cluj-Napoca], Dec 30, 1874; d Budapest, June 6, 1950). Hungarian opera director, designer and writer. After studying law at the universities of Kolozsvár and Budapest he entered the service of the state. From 1912 to 1917 he was director of the Hungarian State Theatres (the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre), and in ...

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Noël Goodwin

(b London, May 9, 1874; d London, Nov 25, 1937). English theatre manager, originator of the Vic-Wells (later Sadler’s Wells) Opera and Ballet companies . She received early musical instruction from her parents, who were touring concert-party artists; she joined them as a teenager, and formed the St James’ Ladies Orchestra when she was 14. Accompanying her parents to South Africa, she began giving music lessons in Johannesburg, but returned to London in ...

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Richard Evidon

(b Uppsala, July 14, 1918). Swedish stage and screen director and writer . Although he is generally regarded as one of the most distinguished and influential film-makers of the postwar period, Bergman’s more constant sphere of activity has been the legitimate theatre, where he has concentrated his work since retiring from the cinema in ...

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Max Loppert

(b London, Feb 5, 1924; d London, Dec 23, 2002). English director . During his period as an Oxford undergraduate he produced Idomeneo for the Oxford University Opera Club (1947); immediately afterwards he went to Glyndebourne, where he worked (1950–53) as an assistant to Moran Caplat and came under the influence of the producers Carl Ebert and Günther Rennert. Besch’s first professional production was of Verdi’s ...

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Hugh Canning

(b Zürich, 1948). Swiss director . He studied at Jacques Lecocq’s Ecole de Pantomime in Paris and made his début directing at the Théâtre Universitaire International de Paris. In 1969 he was appointed a production assistant at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg, and from 1971...

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Thomas Kaufman

(b Naples, 1873; d Bogotà, Aug 28, 1935). Italian impresario and cellist . He joined the orchestra of an Italian opera company touring the Balkans in 1890, and also performed in Egypt, but decided to try his hand as an impresario in 1895, giving performances in Alexandria (Alhambra Theatre) during August and September and in Cairo (Ezbekieh Gardens) for the next two months. The company was joined in Cairo by the young and not yet famous Enrico Caruso, who sang in five operas. Bracale was again impresario in Cairo, but at the much more important Khedivial theatre from ...

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John Rosselli

(b 1806–7; d after 1882). Italian opera house official . An accountant by training, he was from 1843 to 1882 (with a break in 1859–67) secretary to the management committee of the largely aristocratic society that owned La Fenice, Venice, one of the three leading Italian opera houses in the 1840s and 50s. A committee member arranged the opera seasons, conducting much of the business himself, but as the post changed hands fairly often it was the secretary who provided continuity and acted as permanent manager. Brenna behaved in some ways like an impresario-agent, for example, by taking a cut on artists’ agency fees; he even tried unsuccessfully to take a cut on the baritone Felice Varesi’s fee when no outside agent was involved. His letters, written mainly on his superiors’ behalf, are impersonal. He appears to have been trusted: he negotiated with Verdi over the librettos of ...

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Katherine K. Preston

(b Wexford, 1798; d at sea, May 21, 1867). English bass and opera manager . After several years’ acting at the Haymarket Theatre, he accompanied Joseph and Mary Anne Paton Wood to the USA in 1833 and 1840; his American début (as Dandini in M. R. Lacy’s adaptation of ...