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to the season in advance. She was partly responsible for the break with the tradition of giving all operas in Italian; she imposed the re-engagement of Melba after her initial near-failure, and later sustained Melba’s virtual control over casting. Herself unmusical, she was fired by enthusiasm for her friends among musicians. Bibliography E. F. Benson : ‘Three Great Ladies and Others’, As we Were (London, 1930) H. Rosenthal : Two Centuries of Opera at Covent Garden (London, 1958) J. Hetherington : Melba (London, 1967)

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Frederick II, King of Prussia (opera) [ Friedrich II ; Frederick the Great ] ( 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