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Margaret Murata

(b Cupramontana, Jan 11, 1596; d Rome, Oct 16, 1653). Italian librettist. After studying at the Collegio Romano he was active in Roman literary circles from the 1620s. He was secretary to Francesco Peretti (later Cardinal Montalto) by 1630 and to Camillo Pamphili (1644–7), before serving Pope Innocent X as ...

Article

Cigoli  

Marinella Pigozzi

[Cardi, Ludovico]

(b Castelvecchio di Cigoli, nr Pisa, Sept 21, 1559; d Rome, June 8, 1613). Italian scene designer and deviser of displays. A pupil of B. Morellone in Empoli, he went to Florence in about 1568 to study ‘lettere umane’. He matriculated in 1578 at the Accademia del Disegno and collaborated with A. Allori and B. Buontalenti in displays for the festive Medici entertainments. Most of his drawings are at the Uffizi, among them the preparatory study for the figure of Lucifer which appeared in the fourth intermedio of Pellegrina, the commedia by G. Bargagli performed on 2 May 1589 for the marriage of the Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Christine of Lorraine. Cigoli collaborated with Buontalenti, who was commissioned to re-equip the Medici theatre at the Uffizi, creating scenery, costumes and machinery for the intermezzos.

At the turn of the century, Cigoli was one of the most important Florentine artists and intellectuals and a member of several academies. In ...

Article

Colin Timms

(b Genoa, ?1581; d after in or 1656). Italian composer . He spent his working life at Genoa, where he appears to have been organist of the cathedral in the late 16th century and at the convent of S Brigida from 1601. According to the title-page of his Primo libro de madrigali (Venice, 1640) he was maestro di cappella to the republic of Genoa. When over 70 he composed the opera Ariodante (G. A. Pisani [G. A. Spinola], after L. Ariosto; lib. I-Nc , Rc ) and the intermezzo Gl’incanti di Ismeno (Spinola), which were performed together at the Teatro del Falcone, Genoa, in 1655–6. Giazotto says that Costa also set Spinola’s Aspasia in 1656 and/or 1660; the drama was certainly performed at Genoa in 1695, but the music may have been by Geronimo Maria Costa (b Genoa, 1655).

AllacciD R. Giazotto: La musica a Genova nella vita pubblica e privata dal XIII al XVIII secolo...

Article

Barbara Russano Hanning

[Daphne]

Opera in a prologue and six scenes by Jacopo Peri, with assistance from Jacopo Corsi, to a libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini after Ovid’s Metamorphoses (book 1); Florence, Corsi’s palace, pre-Lenten Carnival season, 1598 (1597 old Florentine style), 1599, 1600.

This experimental musico-dramatic work, for which the music survives only partially in manuscript, and which its creators called a favola in musica (musical tale), is generally considered the first opera. The complete libretto exists in a printed edition from 1598. The characters’ vocal ranges given here are those assigned in Gagliano’s 1608 version (see Dafne (ii)). (The scene settings are inferred from the action.)

Prologue Ovid explains the cautionary nature of his tale: never underestimate the power of Love.

Scene 1 [A secluded grove] The resident nymphs and shepherds entreat Jove to send a saviour to deliver them from the monstrous dragon, which has been terrorizing their land, and are answered by Apollo in the form of an echo (‘Ebra di sangue in questo oscuro bosco’), after which the god descends and slays the python with bow and arrow. (This scene is a reworking of Rinuccini’s third ...

Article

(b Madrid, Nov 25, 1562; d Madrid, Aug 27, 1635). Spanish dramatist, virtual founder of the Spanish theatre and the first Spanish opera librettist. His Selva sin amor, La , performed at court before Philip IV on 18 December 1627, was a one-act ‘pastoral eclogue’, wholly sung to music (now lost) by Filippo Piccinini (a Bolognese musician in the employ of the Spanish royal chapel) and Bernardo Monanni (secretary of the Tuscan embassy in Madrid), staged in spectacular style by Cosimo Lotti. This is the earliest record of a wholly-sung drama in Spain, but Lope seems not to have written other such librettos, nor is there any record of any further such operas before the performance of Púrpura de la rosa, La by Hidalgo and Calderón de la Barca in Madrid in 1660. Since the composers and the stage designer of La selva were all Italian, Calderón’s claim that ...

Article

Margaret Murata

(b Civita Castellana, bap. Nov 8, 1592; d Rome, Jan 21, 1665). Italian composer. He became a Roman citizen in 1614 and by 1619 was both priest and Doctor of Laws; he entered the household of Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandini in 1621, though not specifically as a musician. The cardinal’s brother Giovanni Giorgio, prince of Rossano, commissioned Mazzocchi’s only surviving opera, La catena d’Adone (favola boscareccia, prol., 5, O. Tronsarelli), performed in Rome at the Palazzo Conti on 12 February 1626. After the cardinal’s death in 1638, Mazzocchi stayed in the service of his niece and sole heir, Olimpia Aldobrandini Borghese (later Pamfili).

Nothing is known of Mazzocchi’s musical training, nor is he ever mentioned as musico or maestro. His only known compositions before his opera are two canzonettas and a motet. If the composer Sigismondo d’India is to be believed, Mazzocchi was given the opera commission only after he himself fell ill and could not fulfil it (see Reiner). In fact d’India derided Mazzocchi’s inexperience and suggested that ...

Article

Marinella Pigozzi

(b Florence, April 6, 1571; d Florence, July 13, 1635). Italian architect, engineer and scene designer. After initial training from his father, the architect Alfonso Parigi (the elder), he entered the service of Bernardo Buontalenti in 1589, succeeding him in 1608 as architect and engineer to the Medici court, though he was already on the payroll from 1599. He oversaw all the works and surveying in the grand duchy, including the festive and dynastic displays, and so captured the interest of the Medici princes. His innovatory mastery of scene design soon acquired a European scope and reputation, thanks to contact with Inigo Jones, Joseph Furttenbach, Cosimo Lotti and Jacques Callot. In addition to designing displays, spectacles and entertainments in Florence, Parigi was also involved in operatic design, providing machines and ‘cloud’ for Rinuccini’s Festa dell’Agnolo Gabriello (1620). He was responsible for the machines and scenic perspectives for Marco da Gagliano’s ...