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Bertil H. van Boer

(b Stockholm, Aug 10, 1757; d Vaxhälla, March 17, 1810). Swedish actor, singer and librettist . He made his début as an actor as Count Almaviva in Beaumarchais’ play Le barbier de Séville in 1785 at the New Swedish Theatre, where he became well known for his comic roles and original opera librettos, mostly written for Carl Stenborg’s comic opera. In 1790 he became an administrator at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, a position he held until after Gustavus III’s assassination in 1792. In 1794 he turned to publishing in the provincial town of Linköping. During his career he supplied the texts for more than 65 one-act comedies with music, including the Singspiels Födelsedagen (‘The Birthday’, 1790), Fricorpsen eller Dalkarlarne (‘The Free Corps or Men from Dalacarlia’, 1788) and Marknaden (‘The Market Place’, 1792), all with music by Kraus. His tenor voice was considered expressive but fairly weak; his main talent as an actor lay in his satirical portrayals of figures such as Abbé Vogler in the first of the operas named above....


Carlo Vitali and Juliane Riepe

[Giulietto ]

(b Rome, c1668; d Rome, Feb 19, 1755). Italian soprano castrato and composer. He was already a member of the Congregazione dei Musici di Roma in 1683, and in 1684 was in the cappella of St Mark’s, Venice; in the 1683–4 season he appeared at the Teatro di S Bartolomeo, Naples. He studied with Colonna (and possibly Pistocchi) in Bologna and in 1688 joined the Accademia Filarmonica and the cappella of S Petronio. Between 1683 and 1692 he was among the singers of S Maria Maggiore, Rome. In 1696 he took part in Perti’s Penelope la casta and Furio Camillo in Rome. During the following two years Cavalletti sang in Florence and Pratolino, and between 1698 and 1703 he was virtuoso di camera to the Duchess of Laurenzano. During this period he was granted leave to sing in Naples; at the Teatro di S Bartolomeo he performed in Scarlatti’s ...


J. Bunker Clark

[Corri, P(hilip) Antony ]

(b Edinburgh, ?1784; d Baltimore, Feb 19, 1832). American composer and singer of British birth , son of Domenico Corri. As P. Antony Corri he was well established as a composer in London by about 1808–13, when a great many of his piano pieces and songs were published. He was one of the organizers of the Philharmonic Society in 1813, and sang in its first concerts. Some time afterwards he emigrated to the USA (apparently because of marital problems), where he appeared in New York and Philadelphia, and had settled in Baltimore by November 1817. Christened Arthur Clifton on 31 December 1817, he married Alphonsa Elizabeth Ringgold on 1 January 1818. He held positions as organist and choirmaster in Baltimore from 1818 until his death. He taught singing and probably also the piano, appeared in concerts as a singer and pianist, and was a theatre music director for at least two seasons. He continued to compose songs and piano pieces. His opera ...


[Margarita ]

(b Rome; fl 1629–57). Italian singer and poetess, sister of Anna Francesca Costa. Her rather chequered career as a talented courtesan led her from Rome through Florence (1629), Rome (1644), Turin (1645) and Paris (1647) before returning again to her native city; her patrons included the Medici (in particular, Grand Duke Ferdinando II), the Barberini and Cardinal Mazarin. Her rivalry with another Roman soprano, Cecca del Padule, was reputed to have inspired Domenico Mazzocchi’s La catena d’Adone (1626), although she did not take part in the performance. Costa’s numerous publications include poetry, letters, a comedy (Li buffoni, Florence, 1641), a libretto for a Festa reale per balletto a cavallo (Paris, 1647, with a dedication to Mazarin: it had been offered to Grand Duke Ferdinando II in 1640), and two opera librettos, La Flora feconda (Florence, ...


Michel Noiray

(b Tours, 1770; d Versailles, Dec 6, 1845). French composer and singer . Fay first appeared as a tenor at the Théâtre Louvois in 1791; he joined the company of the Opéra-Comique in 1792 and that of the Théâtre Feydeau in 1797. After 1801 he sang mainly in provincial theatres, but also in the Netherlands and Belgium, where he concluded his career in 1826. His wife, Mlle Rousselois (known as Bachelier), was a singer at the Théâtre Feydeau, and the couple managed the three théâtres in Marseilles, 1811–13. Although this venture ended in financial disaster, Fay published a Plan d’une organisation générale de tous les théâtres de l’Empire (1813), which contains information on theatrical practice at the time of Napoleon. His comédieClémentine is an ambitious work with substantial numbers, and it is meticulously written. Reviews of Fay’s other operas, although sometimes favourable, criticized his heavy orchestration and lack of melody....


David Charlton

[Jacques ]

(b Lyons, 1750; d Paris, May 1836). French composer and singer . He went to Paris, according to Fétis, in 1779 and taught music; from about 1781 to 1785 he published songs and keyboard arrangements. On 1 November 1788, a scène by Foignet was given at the Concert Spirituel. In 1791, when it became a common right in France to open a theatre, he began to compose stage works, initially in collaboration with Louis Victor Simon. These were primarily opéras comiques or vaudevilles and enjoyed much success; most are lost.

From 1798 to 1809 Foignet was (with Simon) one of five joint administrators of the Théâtre Montansier, and in 1801 took over the Théâtre des Jeunes-Artistes, rue de Bondy, where he ran a highly regarded troupe with his son François Foignet, who was chief conductor. Almost nothing is known of Foignet after 1807, when most small theatres were closed by Napoleon....


[‘Lo Zanardino’ ]

(b Bologna, July 31, 1661; d Bologna, Dec 15, 1729). Italian soprano castrato and composer , son of Vincenzo and Angela Laurenti. A pupil of Agostino Filippucci, he became a member of the Bologna Accademia Filarmonica in 1685. From 1675 to 1688 he spent much of his time as a soprano at S Petronio; evidence from librettos shows that between 1679 and 1687 he also sang in operas by Perti, Tosi and others in Parma and Bologna. In 1688 he entered the Congregazione dell’Oratorio in Bologna, where he became praefectus musices, and maestro di cappella. According to Penna, ‘because of his noble talent he was worthy to serve the Emperor Leopold I as a virtuoso for many years’; in fact he was only in Vienna from May to July 1686. Penna states also that ‘in the most celebrated cities in Europe he distinguished himself, both in church and theatre as equal to any musician that lived in that time’....


(b early 18th century; d 1754). French composer and singer, possibly the sister or daughter of Honoré-Claude Guédon de Presles. She worked at the Paris court theatre as a singer, actress and composer under the name ‘Mlle Guédon’. From 1748, when she appeared in the entrée La vue from Mouret’s Le triomphe des sens, she sang many secondary roles at the Théâtre de la Reine. More notable operas in which she appeared were Collasse’s Thétis et Pélée, Mouret’s Les amours de dieux and Campra’s Tancrède (all 1748), and Lully’s Bellérophon (1749). Her name also appears in details of three opera performances in the dauphine’s salon: Lully’s Armide in 1749 and Campra’s Hésione and Lully’s Phaëton (both 1750). Other performances in which she sang included Campra’s L’Europe galante (1750–52), Les élémens by Lalande and Destouches and Lully’s Roland (both 1751), and lastly ...


Jessica Payette

(Ferrée )

(b New York, NY, Feb 18, 1943). American composer, opera singer, and educator. She studied literature and music at Columbia University, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her primary voice teachers were soprano Helen Merritt and Marina Ahmed Alam, a Hindustani raga singer. She studied composition with vladimir Ussachevsky, whom she first encountered in an undergraduate counterpoint course, and otto Luening. Ussachevsky eventually taught her the methods he developed for studio electronics and became her principal supervisor. During her student years she collaborated with Ussachevsky on film and television scores, including Line of Apogee and Incredible Voyage, which combined pure electronic and concrète sound sources; Shields also embraced this approach for many of her electronic music-theater pieces and operas. Her DMA in composition was conferred in 1975 with the completion of the third segment of a tripartite opera, begun in 1970, entitled The Odyssey of Ulysses the Palmiped...


Paola Besutti

( fl from 1653). English singer and composer active in Italy . Little is known about his life. At the beginning of 1653 he was in Rome, where he probably studied with Luigi Rossi. He was a member of the Italian company which on 14 April 1654 performed Carlo Caproli’s ...