Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM Oxford Music Online. © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in Oxford Music Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

De Giosa, Nicolalocked

  • Andrea Lanza

(b Bari, May 3, 1819; d Bari, July 7, 1885). Italian composer and conductor. In 1834 he obtained a free place at the Naples Conservatory, where he studied the flute with Bongiorno, counterpoint with Ruggi, harmony with Zingarelli and composition with Donizetti. In 1841 he left the conservatory because of disagreements with the director Mercadante and composed the opera buffa La casa di tre artisti (Naples, 1842). As L’arrivo del signor zio it was repeated in 1846 at Genoa, where it had little success, and at Milan, where it caused a controversy between the supporters of the old Neapolitan school and the new style of Verdi, whose I due Foscari was also being given. This ended with the triumph of the Verdian party.

A series of works followed in the best tradition of Neapolitan opera buffa, culminating in Don Checco (Naples, 1850), his masterpiece and one of the greatest successes in the history of opera in Naples. His later comic operas declined in quality, but remained in demand by the principal Italian centres. The most successful of these was Napoli di carnevale (Naples, 1876). Several attempts at serious opera, in which De Giosa appeared a pale imitator of Donizetti, either had little success or were not performed.

In his middle years he reduced his activity as a composer in favour of conducting; he was particularly admired for the scrupulousness of his orchestral balance and ensemble. From 1860–61 he conducted for several seasons at S Carlo, in 1867–8 at La Fenice, in 1870 in Cairo, in 1873 at the Colón in Buenos Aires and finally, in 1876, at the Politeama in Naples. He composed church and orchestral music, but was better known for his songs which made him celebrated in Italy and abroad as a salon composer.



La casa di tre artisti (ob, 3, A. Passaro), Naples, 1842, excerpts (Naples, n.d.)

as L’arrivo del signor zio, Genoa, 1846, autograph I-Mr; Elvina (op semiseria, 3, A. Spadetta), Naples, 1845, Nc, excerpts (Naples and Milan, n.d.)

Ascanio il gioielliere (op semiseria, 3, G.S. Giannini), Turin, 1847, autograph Mr, vs (Milan, n.d.)

La chauve-souris, ?1847, not perf.; in It. as Il pipistrello (3, E. Golisciani), Naples, Jan 1875

Le due guide (melodramma, 4, M. d'Arienzo), Livorno, 1848, excerpts (Naples, n.d.)

Don Checco (ob, 3, Spadetta), Naples, 1850, autograph Mr, vs (Milan and Naples, n.d.)

Folco d’Arles (melodramma tragico, 3, S. Cammarano, after V. Hugo), Naples, 1851, Nc, vs (Naples, n.d.), rev. Florence, 1867

Guido Colmar, o Diego Garias (os, 3, D. Bolognese), Naples, 1852, Nc, vs (Naples, n.d.)

as Silvia, Naples, 1864, vs (Milan, ?1866)

Ida di Benevento [L′assedio di Bari], ?1854 or ?1858, not perf.; Ettore Fieramosca (os, 3, Bolognese), Naples, 1855, Nc; Un geloso e la sua vedova (op comica, 3, E. del Preite), Naples, 1857, autograph Mr, vs (Naples, 1857)

Isella la modista (dg, 3, L. Tarantini), Naples, 1857, Nc; Elena, 1853

not perf.; rev. as Il bosco di Dafne (dg, 3, M.A. Bianchi), Naples, 1864, Nc; Il gitano, 1859, not perf, as Lo zingaro, vs (Naples, n.d.)

Prologue to Gli speculatori, Naples, 1872

Napoli di carnevale (ob, 3, d'Arienzo), Naples, 1876, autograph Mr, vs (Milan, n.d.)

Il conte di S Romano (os, 4, Golisciani), Naples, 1878, autograph Mr, vs (Milan, n.d.)

Rabagas (op comica, 4, Golisciani), Rome, 1882

others, not perf.: La schiava polacca; Il capitano Mario; Giovanna di Navarra; Osmano II; Satana

Other works


sym, 1839, I-Nc

Songs and duets: c403 pieces, incl. 10 collections pubd Milan, 16 collections pubd Naples


Requiem, for Donizetti, ?1848

Mass, 4vv, orch, 1838, Nc; 3 messe di Gloria, 4vv, orch; 2 Mag: 1, B, vv, orch, 1839, Nc; 2 Litanies; 4 Tantum ergo, 1–3vv, orch; Dixit Dominus, 4vv, vv, orch, 1839

Nc; Stabat mater, 4vv, orch; 2 Salve regina; Ave Maria; 3 sinfonie, on themes from masses and Dixit, orch

Other vocal

Una lagrima sulla tomba del Conte Gallemberg, preghiera, S, vv, orch, 1839, Nc; Inno funebre, 4vv, vv, orch, 1839, Nc; Cant., for marriage of Duke of Calabria and Princess Maria Sofia of Bavaria, 1859

Cant., for the patron saint of Acquaviva [Bari], 1864


  • A. Acuto: ‘Nicola De Giosa’, GMM, 40 (1885), 252, 331, 339, 345
  • M. Incagliati: Nicola De Giosa e il genio musicale di Puglia (Bari, 1923)
  • A. Procida: ‘I direttori d’orchestra’, Cento anni di vita del Teatro di San Carlo, 1848–1948, ed. F. de Filippis (Naples, 1948), 133–7
  • G. Pannain: Ottocento musicale italiano: saggi e note (Milan, 1952), 133, 137
  • A. Giovine: Nicola De Giosa (Bari, 1968)
F. Florimo: La scuola musicale di Napoli e i suoi conservatorii (Naples, 1880-83/R)
Naples, Conservatorio di Musica S Pietro a Majella, Biblioteca
Gazzetta musicale di Milano
Milan, Biblioteca della Casa Ricordi