(b Livorno, July 28, 1862; d Florence, Oct 7, 1952). Italian musicologist. He first studied law, then turned to music and joined the staff of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Florence. He became successively professor of music history, assistant director and finally director and librarian of the Istituto Musicale (Reale Accademia di Musica Luigi Cherubini), Florence, retiring in 1932. His numerous writings (over 900) include regular contributions to newspapers and periodicals, among them the Gazzetta musicale di Milano, La critica musicale and the Rivista musicale italiana.Saggio storico sul teatro musicale italiano (Livorno, 1913) La figura e l’arte di G. Verdi (Livorno, 1919) Bernardo Pasquini (Ascoli Piceno, 1923) Verdi (Paris, 1923) Mefistofele di Arrigo Boito (Milan, 1924) G. Puccini: l’uomo e l’artista (Livorno, 1925) L’opera italiana (Florence, 1928) Rossini (Florence, 1934) Publicazioni di Arnaldo Bonaventura nel cinquantenario, 1880–1930 (Florence, 1930) B. Becherini: ‘Ricordi di Arnaldo Bonaventura (1862–1952)’, RMI...
(b 1843–4; d ?1917). English translator . He was a scholar of Oriel College, Oxford (BA 1866), and was ordained in the Church of England in 1868. He was choirmaster and organist of Christ Church, Marylebone, London, from 1878 to 1882.
For the production of Così fan tutte (at that time rarely staged) by the Royal College of Music at the Savoy Theatre in 1890, he wrote an amusing and elegant English version, ‘translated and adapted from the original Italian and the German paraphrase’, in a style Richard Brinsley Sheridan would not have disdained. It was published in vocal score by Novello, with the characters Fiordiligi and Guglielmo renamed Isidora and Gratiano, presumably for the convenience of English tongues. The long survival of this version, with modifications, extended to the ENO production of 1990. Browne also translated Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad (RCM, Savoy, 1891) and Hermann Goetz’s ...
(b Florence, Dec 19, 1876; d Milan, March 3, 1965). Italian musicologist . He studied at the Milan Conservatory, with Catalani and others, teaching there from 1898 to 1941, and until 1948 holding the chair of Verdi studies, a position created for him. In 1921 he founded the music section of Teatro del Popolo, Milan, which he directed for more than 30 years. He also served as director at La Scala (1941–4) and was music critic of L’illustrazione italiana (1918–48). As a scholar he devoted himself to critical and historical studies of late 19th-century opera: his Verdi, in its original 1931 edition, is one of the most comprehensive and fully documented accounts of the composer and his music. He also composed orchestral and vocal music.Il Teatro alla Scala rinnovato (Milan, 1926) Verdi (Milan, 1931, 2/1951; part Eng. trans., 1955, as Verdi: the Man and his Music...
(b Norwich, April 11, 1912). Canadian composer, theorist and conductor of English origin. He moved to Canada in 1928, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1930. His composition teachers have included Alfred Whitehead in Montreal and Paul Hindemith at Yale University (1952–3). He also studied conducting with Willem van Otterloo in Utrecht (1956). From 1946 until his retirement in 1977, he taught at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He also conducted the Queen’s SO (1946–54), and founded and conducted both the Kingston Choral Society (1953–7) and the New SO of Kingston (1954–7).
George’s music is in a 20th-century idiom characterized by traditional formal structures and modal harmonies, and influenced by his studies of ethnomusicology and the structural aspects of music. His operas are large-scale works based on historical events with librettos adapted from contemporary writing. He has also composed many choral pieces....
(b Czernowitz [now Chernovtsy, Ukraine], Oct 26, 1888; d Vienna, Oct 12, 1960). Austrian theatre historian and librettist . He went to Vienna in 1907, studying German, philosophy and musicology (under Guido Adler) at the university and practical music at the academy. In 1908 he became a private pupil of Robert Fuchs and also studied operatic production at the Vienna Hofoper. In 1910 he became Max Reinhardt’s assistant for a production of the second part of Goethe’s Faust at the Deutsche Theater, Berlin. After war service he was appointed librarian at the Austrian National Library, where he founded a theatre archive in 1922 and a film archive in 1929; he initiated studies in theatre history at Vienna University in 1947. During the last years of his life he was accorded many national and international awards.
Although Gregor left important monographs on the history of Vienna’s theatres, on Richard Strauss’s operas and on the broad cultural history of theatre and of opera, he is probably best known as the librettist of Richard Strauss’s ...
(b London, March 13, 1863; d London, May 17, 1933). English translator. He was one of the first British champions of Richard Strauss, with whom he became personally acquainted at the first performance in Berlin of Feuersnot (1912). His translation of Der Rosenkavalier, published in the vocal score and first performed in Birmingham in ...
(b Mikhaylovka, Samara province, 1/Dec 12, 1766; d St Petersburg, 22 May/June 3, 1826). Russian prose writer and historian. As the official court historiographer from 1804, he produced an 11-volume history of Russia to the early 17th-century ‘Time of Troubles’; its authority was not challenged until the 1860s. Many details from it found their way into the libretto of Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, especially the expanded version of 1872, which cites Karamzin, along with Pushkin, as a direct source.
Karamzin’s other claim to literary fame was the introduction of the sentimental novel into Russia. This aspect of his work found contemporary operatic echo in Natal’ya, boyarskaya doch’ (‘Natalia, the Nobleman’s Daughter’, 1798) by Daniil Nikitich Kashin (1770–1841), a serf musician who was one of the early collector-arrangers of Russian folksong. In his opera after Karamzin, performed in Moscow in 1803, Kashin accommodated the folk idiom to the style of the contemporary sentimental romance, paving the way towards Tchaikovsky’s ...
(b Maillane, Bouches-du-Rhône, Sept 8, 1830; d Maillane, March 25, 1914). Provençal poet and philologist . The son of a prosperous landowner, he devoted his life to the promotion of the cultural values of Provençal. His most famous work is the rural epic Mirèio (1859) which Michel Carré used as the basis for the libretto of the five-act opera (sometimes described as an ‘opéra-dialogué’) Mireille, set by Gounod. This was first performed in 1864 and subsequently remodelled. Calendau (1867) formed the basis of Henri Maréchal’s opera Calendel (libretto by Paul Ferrier), which had its première in Rouen in 1894. Maurice Léna’s libretto for C. M. Widor’s opera Nerto (1924, Paris) was derived from Mistral’s verse-tale of the same name. In 1904, half a century after the foundation of the pro-Provençal ‘félibrige’, the Nobel Prize for literature was awarded jointly to Mistral and the Spanish poet José Echegaray....
(b Paris, 1687; d Paris, Oct 13, 1770). French librettist and historian . He was elected to the Académie Française in 1733 and appointed lecteur to Queen Maria Leszczyńska around 1745. He is best known for Les chats (1727), an elegant and witty history of the cat since ancient Egyptian times. As a librettist Moncrif worked exclusively on a small scale, limiting himself to the opéra-ballet, with its separate entrées, and to the independent acte de ballet. A taste for exoticism, first explored in his ‘contes indiens’ Les avantures de Zéloïde et d’Amanzarifdine (1715), is also evident in the librettos. One entrée of L’empire de l’Amour (‘Les génies du feu’) inhabits the enchanted world of Middle Eastern mythology, still a fairly unusual choice in 1733 but soon to become fashionable; his subsequent librettos, notably Zélindor, roi des silphes and Les génies tutélaires, mainly adopt Arabian or Asiatic settings. Most were moderately successful; ...
(b Ottawa, Sept 7, 1892; d Montreal, Sept 20, 1958). Canadian composer and folklorist . He studied the piano and the organ in Ottawa with Amédée Tremblay and piano in Montreal with Alfred Laliberté. From 1915 he collaborated with Charles Marchand on collecting and arranging folksongs, and he was also active as a teacher, orchestral pianist and accompanist. From 1927 to 1930 he took part in the festivals commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and became their joint musical director with Harold E. Key in 1930; it was for these that his ballad operas, based on Canadian folklore and including many folksongs, were written. His operetta Philippino was broadcast in 1943. O’Brien became a priest in 1952.
ballad operas unless otherwise stated