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Article

Lowell Lindgren

(b Rome, Feb 24, 1637; d Rome, Feb 7, 1700). Italian impresario and deviser of scenic effects. He studied at the Seminario Romano, where he performed in the Latin tragedies and intermedi produced during the carnivals of 1651–3. In January 1657 he joined the Florentine Accademia degli Immobili, which produced comic operas. Before he became a Knight of Malta on 9 August 1666 he had to serve in at least four caravans, and thus travelled widely, even to Asia, Africa and America. He returned to Rome for the reign of Pope Clement IX, 1667–9 (the opera librettist Giulio Rospigliosi), who named Acciaiuoli's brother Niccolò a cardinal in 1669. During the next three decades Filippo was the theatrical master-mind behind many spectacular operas produced in and around Rome. He may have been involved with most of those given at the Palazzo Colonna, where his first two were produced in ...

Article

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; he managed her musical and theatrical entertainments, opera included. Under her patronage he built in 1669 the Teatro di Tordinona, the first notable opera house in Rome; he also built tennis courts and once ran a lottery combined with an exhibition of mirrors. When a new pope in 1676 forbade the reopening of the Tordinona, and Christina’s income from Sweden was held up by war, d’Alibert went to Turin; there he built and, in 1678, managed another opera house, the Teatro Ducale (later Regio). After the opening season he judged it to be doubtfully profitable and returned to Rome, where he kept gambling tables in his own house and entertained his customers with plays, music and puppet shows. After the demolition of the Tordinona in ...

Article

Miriam Miller

(d 1634). English music printer. He printed a few musical works between 1610 and 1615, only his initials ‘E.A.’ appearing on certain imprints. He printed Thomas Ravenscroft’s A Briefe Discourse (1614) and John Amner’s Sacred Hymnes of 3, 4, 5 and 6 parts for Voyces and Vyols (1615). His address was ‘neere Christ-Church’ in London. His name appears among a list of printers granted printing monopolies by James I and his successors as ‘Edw. Alday, to print sett songs et al’, but he apparently made little use of any such privilege.

Humphries-SmithMP E. Arber, ed.: A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London, 1554–1640, 1–4 (London, 1875–7/R); v (Birmingham, 1894/R) R.B. McKerrow: ‘Edward Allde as a Typical Trade Printer’, The Library, 4th ser., 10 (1929–30), 121–62 J. Morehen: ‘A Neglected East Anglian Madrigalian Collection of the Elizabethan Period’, ...

Article

Irene Alm

[Giambattista; ‘il Tasquino’]

( fl 1636–57). Italian choreographer, dancer, stage designer and impresario . He was involved with Venetian opera from its inception. Cited as ‘Veneziano Ballarino celebre’ in the libretto for Francesco Manelli’s L’Andromeda (1637), he continued to provide choreography for operas at Venice for the next seven years. Beginning in 1645, his affiliation with the travelling Febiarmonici introduced Venetian opera to other Italian cities. They produced Francesco Sacrati’s La finta pazza in Florence in 1645 and Cavalli’s La Deidamia (first performed Venice, 1644) there in 1650. In December 1652 Balbi and the Febiarmonici produced Veremonda l’Amazzone d’Aragona (?Cavalli) in Naples. Veremonda and La finta pazza, presented earlier that year, served to introduce Neapolitan audiences to the innovations of the Venetian stage machinery and dance. During Carnival 1653 Balbi created the set designs and choreography for the anonymous Le magie amorose and for Provenzale’s Il Ciro in Naples.

Balbi also played an important role in the introduction of Venetian opera to northern Europe. While in Florence in ...

Article

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 1745 and director of Italian opera at the city theatre in Strasbourg five years later. On 24 May 1752 he agreed to provide seven singers and an orchestra for performances in Rouen later that year, but this contract was revoked by the Opéra and the singers were summoned to Paris. Their part in the Querelle des Bouffons (opera) has been overemphasized: generally considered an integrated and talented troupe that took Paris by storm, the Bouffons were in reality a group of minor actors on the periphery of the Italian operatic world. Few of them had performed together before meeting in Strasbourg and, except for Bambini’s wife, the soprano Anna Tonelli, none had enjoyed widespread success in Italy. The eventual popularity of early performances such as Pergolesi’s ...

Article

Jérôme de La Gorce

(bap. Saint-Mihiel, Lorraine, June 6, 1640; d Paris, Jan 24, 1711). French designer. After beginning his career in Paris as an engraver, he was summoned to Versailles in 1674 to work on the festivities celebrating the conquest of the Franche-Comté. That year he was appointed Dessinateur de la Chambre et du Cabinet du Roi, succeeding Henry Gissey. Thereafter he was to provide all the models of costumes for the operas performed at the royal residences and on the operatic stage of Paris, replacing Carlo Vigarani as designer of the sets and stage effects there in 1680. Until at least 1707 he prepared designs at the Académie Royale de Musique for the works of Lully and his successors, Collasse, Marin Marais, Charpentier, Desmarets, Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Campra, Destouches and Jean-Féry Rebel (for illustration see Ballet de cour.

Berain won fame in other areas as well, notably in naval decoration and ‘grotesques’ (styles of ornament widely diffused through engravings) and many of his designs for operatic performances have survived in collections in Paris, Stockholm and London. He drew inspiration for his scenery from the Italians Torelli, Grimaldi, Burnacini and Vigarani, although he was less of an innovator than the Galli-Bibienas; he continued to respect the principle of frontal representation, with regular and symmetrical disposition of the lateral frames, and never used the oblique perspective known as ...

Article

Curtis Price

revised by Margaret Laurie

(b London, 1635; d London, April 28, 1710). English actor, manager and opera director. Generally regarded as the greatest English actor before Garrick, he played a key role in the invention of Semi-opera. In 1668 he became co-manager of the Duke's Company, which was already featuring plays with musical interludes, many of them set by Matthew Locke. In 1671 the troupe moved into the new Dorset Garden Theatre, specially equipped with the machines necessary for opera. Betterton visited Paris to study stagecraft and may have seen the famed comédies-ballets of Lully and Molière. He then produced a series of musical extravaganzas, or semi-operas: adaptations of Shakespeare's Macbeth (1673, music by Locke) and The Tempest (1674, music by Locke, Humfrey and others), Thomas Shadwell's Psyche (1675, music by Locke) and Charles Davenant's Circe (1677, music by John Banister (i)). In addition to coordinating the production and devising the scenery, Betterton often acted the protagonists, roles that never required singing....

Article

Brian Crosby

(b Lincoln, c1650; bur. Durham, April 11, 1721). English musician. He was the son of the John Blundevile who was associated with the choir of Lincoln Cathedral from 1622 to 1692. It is reasonable to identify him with the chorister of that name who was at Lincoln in 1660, and then at the Chapel Royal until Christmas Day 1664. It appears he then worked successively in Ely, as a lay clerk and informator between 1669 and 1674, in Lichfield in 1676 (having failed to produce the necessary certificate at Winchester on 16 May), and in Dublin, from 1677 to 1679. From 1681 he was a lay clerk at York Minster, becoming Master of the Choristers the following year. He held this post until 1692. On 15 May 1693 the Dean of Durham Cathedral was instructed to write to Blundevile to ascertain on what terms he would transfer his allegiance from York to Durham. Although Blundevile did leave York at this time, it is not known where he went, and it was not until ...

Article

(b Novellara, nr Reggio nell'Emilia, 5 Feb or Nov 1582; d Ancona, March 9, 1659). Italian dramatist. He spent his first years in Novellara with his relative Camillo Gonzaga. He was trained at the court of Ferrara and Modena where he lived with his brother Guidobaldo (a writer of tragedies) and then at the Collegio Borromeo in Pavia. Despite an offer of service with the Este family he established himself in Ancona (c1604), retaining his residency when he entered the service of the Medici in Florence. He was a member of various academies (including the Intrepidi of Ferrara, the Gelati of Bologna and the Umoristi of Rome); in Ancona he founded the Accademia dei Caliginosi (7 Jan 1624) and organized the activities of the public theatre of the ‘Arsenale’.

Bonarelli's works were performed in various Italian cities and in Vienna, for which court he provided opera-ballettos, pastorals, ...

Article

Sven Hansell

(b Milan, ? end of the 17th century; d Milan, ? c1758). Italian composer, possibly an impresario, singing teacher and violinist. 18th-century sources (e.g. BurneyH; GerberL; GerberNL and La BordeE) blur the distinction between two or more musicians active in Milan by failing to give first names. Only the revised edition of Mancini (1777) supplies Giuseppe Ferdinando as the composer’s first names and describes him as a prominent Milanese singing teacher without identifying him with the violinist, composer and impresario also active in Milan. In fact a family of Brivios could be involved, including an older singing teacher, Carlo Francesco Brivio, who appeared in Milanese operas of 1696, Teodolinda and L’Etna festante, the librettos for which call him ‘musico di S.E. il Castellano’ (the castle commander’s musician). Suggested as Giuseppe Ferdinando’s father (Martinotti in DBI), this Carlo Francesco may have been the bass employed in the ducal court chapel until ...

Article

Manfred Boetzkes

(b ?Cesena, c1605; d Vienna, July 21, 1655). Italian stage designer and architect. His first known works as an artist were the tournament theatre and stage designs for Marazzoli’s Le pretensioni del Tebro e del Po (1642, Ferrara). These show the influence of Alfonso Rivarola (‘il Chenda’), whose pupil he may have been and whom he may have succeeded as stage designer and engineer at the Teatro SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, about 1640, where he probably staged operas by Monteverdi. He was active there in 1643 and 1651 and may have built the small Teatro SS Apostoli (opened 1648), for which he directed and designed until 1651. With his brother Marc’Antonio he was summoned to Vienna by Ferdinand III in 1651, and until his death, assisted by his son Ludovico Ottavio, he was responsible for the décor of the operatic and festive productions at the imperial court....

Article

Manfred Boetzkes

(b ?Mantua, 1636; d Vienna, Dec 12, 1707). Italian stage designer and architect, son of Giovanni Burnacini. He went to Vienna in 1651 as his father’s assistant and pupil. After his father’s death (1655) he at first succeeded him as stage designer at the imperial court, but on 30 June 1657 he was dismissed by the new emperor, Leopold I, in favour of G.B. Angelini. Re-engaged from 1 January 1659, for nearly five decades he designed all the stage sets, machines and costumes for the theatrical performances, sacre rappresentazioni, festivals and memorial ceremonies of the Viennese court. He also did architectural work, including the building of the new court theatres, 1666–8.

Burnacini’s unique scenic imagination stamped Viennese opera in the 17th century – the works of Bertali, Cesti, Draghi and the Zianis – with an unmistakable imprint. Surpassing even the masterly theatrical machinery of his father, he developed a spectacular style of courtly stage design, particularly in the great ‘homage operas’ of the 1660s and 70s (e.g. Cesti’s ...

Article

[Joan, Joannes, Johannes]

(b Jegenye [now Leghea, nr Cluj-Napoca], March 8, 1629; d Szárhegy [now Lǎzarea, nr Gheorgheni], April 25, 1687). Transylvanian compiler of music anthologies, organist, organ builder, teacher and administrator. He studied music at the Jesuit school at Mănăştur, near Cluj-Napoca, which he left in 1641. In 1648 he was converted to Catholicism from the Orthodox faith into which he was born, and he entered the Franciscan school of the monastery at Csíksomlyó (now Şumuleu, near Miercurea-Ciuc), where on 17 November 1650 he was appointed organist and teacher. He continued his philosophical and theological studies at the Franciscan college at Trnava, near Bratislava, and he was ordained priest there on 5 September 1655. He then took up several appointments at Csíksomlyó. He had studied the organ from an early age, and worked as an organ builder and restorer in Transylvania and Moldavia. He was abbot of the monasteries at Mikháza (now Călugăreni) from ...

Article

Miriam Miller

(fl 1672–95). English bookseller, music publisher and instrument seller. His shop at the Middle Temple Gate, London, was very near that of John Playford the elder, and they published several volumes in partnership between 1681 and 1684. One of these was Henry Purcell’s Sonnata’s of III Parts (1683), printed from plates engraved by Thomas Cross the younger. In spite of clear evidence of friendship as well as partnership between the Carr and Playford families, Carr began to publish independently in 1687. One volume, Vinculum societatis, printed that year, represents a typographical revolution, being printed from an entirely new fount of type. This fount had round note heads, and was designed to allow the printing of quavers, semiquavers etc. in groups as well as separately. It was not possible to achieve this effect with the older diamond-headed founts used by the Playford printers, and it is noticeable that although Carr continued to publish music for the next seven years, he never did so with Henry Playford, even though Carr had many business partners. One of these partners, Sam Scott, took over the Carr business in ...

Article

Margaret Laurie

(b Oxford, bap. March 3, 1606; d London, April 7, 1668). English dramatist, theatre manager and poet. After his arrival in London in 1622, he found employment in the households of various members of the nobility until in 1634 he entered the service of Charles I's queen. He then provided the texts of the last five court masques performed before the Civil War: The Temple of Love (1635), Britannia triumphans (1638), Luminalia (1638) and Salmacida spolia (1640), all staged at Whitehall, and The Triumphs of the Prince d'Amour (1636), given in the Middle Temple (the 2nd and 5th ed. M. Lefkowitz, Trois masques à la cour de Charles Ier d'Angleterre, Paris, 1970). The last was unusual in being entirely set to music (by Henry and William Lawes). In December 1638 the king granted Davenant an annual pension of £100, which in effect created him Poet Laureate, although he was never officially so entitled until after his death. Three months later he obtained a royal patent to build a new theatre ‘wherein plays, musical entertainments, scenes, or other like presentments may be presented’, but this attempt to bring music and spectacle to a wider public came to nothing. He was appointed governor of the Cockpit Theatre in ...

Article

David S. Butchart

(b Florence, June 21, 1577; d Florence, Sept 20, 1647). Italian composer and court administrator. He was a nobleman and belonged to the Knights of St Stephen, a military order based in Pisa. He was probably an associate of the circle of Florentine poets and musicians that had Jacopo Corsi as its patron from about 1592 to 1602. He received musical tuition from Marco da Gagliano, who, dedicating his second book of madrigals (1604) to him, praised his talents and compositions. Del Turco published his own first book of madrigals in 1602, and Gagliano included single pieces by him in his first four madrigal books between then and 1606; that in the second book is a lament on Corsi's death. Del Turco became secretary of Gagliano's Accademia degli Elevati, which was founded in 1607. In the same year he is mentioned in Monteverdi's Scherzi musicali, by the latter's brother Giulio Cesare, as one of the ‘gentlemen of that heroic school’ whose practice Monteverdi followed. In ...

Article

Michael Talbot

(b Venice, Sept 23, 1689; d ?Moscow, after 1763). Italian tenor, impresario and librettist . He sang at Venice and elsewhere in Italy between 1715 and 1723, at first taking leading roles such as Artabanus in Vivaldi’s La costanza trionfante degli amori e degli odii (Venice, Carnival 1716), but within a few years singing only minor parts. In 1724 the impresario Antonio Maria Peruzzi engaged Denzio to assemble a company of singers in Venice and bring them to Prague, where they performed in the theatres of Count Franz Anton von Sporck. Peruzzi’s financial mismanagement of the company led to his being replaced as impresario by Denzio late in that year; in the next ten years Denzio staged 57 productions of operas and sacred dramas in Prague, including works by Vivaldi and Albinoni as well as by the troupe’s composers, Antonio Bioni and Giovanni Antonio Guerra. Denzio’s own librettos included ...

Article

Rudolf Schnitzler and Herbert Seifert

(b Rimini, probably between Jan 17, 1634 and Jan 16, 1635; d Vienna, Jan 16, 1700). Austrian composer, administrator and librettist of Italian birth, possibly a brother of Giovanni Battista Draghi. He was one of the most prominent musicians in Vienna during the last third of the 17th century and an exceptionally prolific composer of operas, oratorios and other theatre music.

Rimini is given as Draghi’s place of descent not only in the first known biographical sources at Padua, but also in the marriage records of the Stephansdom, Vienna, in 1661. The death certificate dated 18 January 1700 gives his age as 65, so he seems to have been born in Rimini about 1634. In November 1645, aged about 11, he entered the service of the basilica of S Antonio, Padua, as a soprano singer, together with his uncle and probably music teacher Francesco Florido (a clergyman who seems to have been active at the cathedral of Urbania as ...

Article

(b 1647; d Paris, March 19, 1726). French administrator . An equerry of the dauphin and governor of Meudon, he went into partnership with Jean-Nicolas de Francine by letters patent of 30 December 1698, and shared the licence of the Opéra (Académie Royale de Musique) with him in the proportion of one quarter of the rights and profits to Dumont, the other three-quarters to Francine. From then on until his death his career was linked to Francine’s.

Their period of management was one of great financial problems, made even worse by the financial burdens (such as artists’ pensions, authors’ royalties and the entertainment tax) on the Opéra after the death of Lully. Saint-Simon thought highly of Dumont, describing him as a ‘great gentleman’ who gained the confidence of the king, and ‘who governed his private purse and, as a rule, his pleasures’.

Paris, Archives Nationales, Série AJ¹³1

F-Po, MS...

Article

Beth L. Glixon

[Sebastiano]

(b Venice, Jan 25, 1621; d Venice, Oct 14, 1678). Italian composer, teacher and opera impresario. He was a canon at the cathedral of Venice, S Pietro di Castello, but the surviving evidence of his musical activities primarily concerns secular genres. He sang in G.A. Cicognini’s and Francesco Lucio's Gl'amori di Alessandro Magno, e di Rossane at the Teatro SS Apostoli, Venice, in 1651 and had begun teaching music to private students by 1652. According to testimony given in 1678, Enno taught the composer Antonio Giannettini during the 1660s. That decade he also published his two songbooks, Arie a una e due voci (Venice, 1654, dedicated to Candido Bentio, vicar-general of the canons of Santo Spirito, Venice) and Ariose cantate (Venice, 1655, dedicated to Giacomo Ascarelli). In 1667 Enno mounted at the Teatro S Moisè Alessandro amante, a reworking of G.A. Cicognini's libretto Gl'amori di Alessandro Magno with music by G.A. Boretti: he had hoped to stage that opera at the Teatro S Apollinare the previous season, when he also prepared two women for operatic roles. Enno continued to train women for the operatic stage during the 1670s. According to testimony given in ...