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( fl 1719–42). Italian choreographer and dancer . He was probably a native of Florence, since he is often cited in librettos as ‘Francesco Aquilanti, Fiorentino’ or ‘da Firenze’. His early choreographic work was concentrated in Venice, where he provided ballets for 17 operas at the Teatro S Giovanni Grisostomo (1721–34; including Leo’s Catone in Utica, Porpora’s Semiramide riconosciuta and works by Gasparini, Orlandini, Vinci and others), and for five operas during Ascension seasons at the Teatro S Samuele (1722–35; including Vivaldi’s Griselda). During this time he is also listed as a choreographer in Reggio Emilia (1725, Porpora’s Didone abbandonata) and as a dancer for opera productions in Turin (1727–8, 1729–30), along with Chiara Aquilanti who may have been his wife, sister or daughter. He spent two seasons in Naples as a choreographer, first for operas at the Teatro S Bartolomeo (1736–7...

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Gabriella Biagi Ravenni

(b Lucca, Feb 5, 1742; d after 1798). Italian librettist, dancer and choreographer. A brother of Luigi Boccherini, he made his début as a dancer in Venice in 1757, but his major successes were achieved in Vienna between 1759 and 1767 (for example, Noverre’s revived Médée et Jason) and from 1769 to 1771. He used this success to begin a career as a librettist; he was a member of the Accademia dell’Arcadia (with the name of Argindo Bolimeo) and published a collection of sonnets. His libretto Turno, re dei Rutoli, a dramma tragico (Vienna, 1767), was never set to music, but reveals a progressive approach to drama; its commendation by Calzabigi, appended to the libretto, led to contact with Salieri, who set to music most of Boccherini’s subsequent librettos. These reveal a talent for pantomime and choreography, and handle theatrical conventions with ease. From 1772 to 1775...

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Irene Alm

(b Milan, ?1755; d after 1838). Italian dancer, choreographer and composer. A pupil of Noverre, he danced at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna in 1775 and presented his first choreography at the Teatro S Agostino in Genoa during Carnival 1776. Most of Clerico’s works were created for the opera houses in Venice, where he worked during the 1780s at S Samuele, S Benedetto and S Moisè, and later in his career at the Fenice, and in Milan, where from 1790 he graced the stage of La Scala for nearly 40 years. He also created ballets for opera houses in Turin, Rome, Brescia, Padua, Bologna, Parma and Florence, and returned to work in Vienna, 1798–1800. Clerico often danced in his own ballets with his brother Gaetano and sister Rosa (who in 1786 married the choreographer and dancer Lorenzo Panzieri). Their exceptional abilities as dancers, according to Ritorni, contributed in part to the success of Clerico’s ballets. Not only was he a renowned choreographer and dancer, but he also composed the music for many of his ballets. He was considered the heir to Angiolini, and an important precursor of Viganò. His enormous output totals nearly 80 ballets, many of which were restaged throughout Italy and in foreign theatres....

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(b Montpellier, Aug 19, 1742; d Tours, Feb 14, 1806). French dancer, teacher and choreographer . He danced in Lyons in 1757 under Noverre, who described his pupil as a joyful and dramatically expressive dancer. Within two years Dauberval was ballet-master for the Turin opera house. In 1761 he made a successful début at the Paris Opéra in Rameau’s Zaïs. He performed under Noverre in Stuttgart, 1762–4, appeared at the Haymarket, London, in 1764 and returned in 1766 to the Opéra, where he was appointed assistant ballet-master in 1770. He danced in many revivals of works by Lully and Rameau, and in the premières of Dauvergne’s Polyxène (1763), Louis Granier’s Théonis (1767), P.-M. Berton and J. B. de La Borde’s Adèle de Ponthieu (1772) and Gossec’s Sabinus (2nd version; 1774). From 1781 to 1783 he shared the title of ballet-master with Maximilien Gardel; he was ousted as a result of political intrigues....

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Roland John Wiley

(Frédéric )

(b Stockholm, 1767; d Kiev, 7/Nov 19, 1837). French choreographer . After studying in Stockholm and Paris, he travelled widely; Swift traced his dances in operas at Stockholm (1787), Bordeaux (1790) and Paris (1791, 1793), but his most extensive engagements were in London (1796–1801, 1812–14) and St Petersburg (1801–12, 1816–30). As a choreographer at the King’s Theatre, Didelot was no doubt involved with opera – a repertory of continental masterpieces leavened by pasticcios and new works by resident composers. In Russia his work is traceable in state records, performance sources and personal accounts. Between 1806 and 1827 he created dances for 25 operas, mostly by French composers, including six by Boieldieu (who worked in St Petersburg, 1804–11), Spontini’s La vestale and Fernand Cortez and works by Grétry, Isouard, Catel, Rodolphe Kreutzer and Auber. Didelot also choreographed operas by Mozart and Winter and five operas by the russified Italian Catterino Cavos. Of special interest is his conversion of Boieldieu’s opera ...

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(fl 1726–49). Italian choreographer. He worked primarily in Venice during the second quarter of the 18th century, creating ballets for more than 30 opera productions. Most of his choreography was for two theatres, S Angelo (1726, 1733–4, 1735, 1746), where his work appeared in operas by Vivaldi and Albinoni, among others, and S Giovanni Grisostomo (1731–2; 1746–7, 1748–9), where he choreographed several operas by Hasse. He also was employed for five Ascension seasons at S Samuele (1738, 1740, 1746, 1748, 1749), and for a season each at S Cassiano (1742–3) and S Moisè (1744–5). In 1738 he worked in Milan. He may be the ‘Zanetto Galetto’ listed as ballet-master for G. M. Ruggieri’s Arrenione at S Angelo (1708). In Gli abiti de veneziani (1754), Giovanni Grevembroch wrote that Gallo, nearly decrepit, was teaching the minuet to the first rank of nobility, and had a school in the Giovanni Grisostomo district....

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(b Modena, c 1700; d Naples, ?1774). Italian dancer, choreographer and impresario . He spent the early part of his career in Venice, where he created ballets for more than 40 operas, 1720–45. His name first appears as a choreographer for the 1720 Ascension season (Orlandini’s Griselda) at the Teatro S Samuele, here he worked for 11 Ascension seasons (later productions included works by Porpora, Albinoni and Galuppi, and Gluck’s Demetrio in 1742). He also choreographed at S Giovanni Grisostomo (24 operas, 1722–45, including Porpora’s Siface, Meride e Selinunte, Rosbale and Statira, and Hasse’s Alessandro nell’Indie and Semiramide riconosciuta) and at S Angelo, S Cassiano, and S Moisè. At the Teatro Falcone in Genoa (1731) and the Regio Ducal Teatro in Milan (1732–3, Lampugnani’s Candace; 1737–40, works by Bernasconi, Brivio and Leo) he worked with his wife Maria, a Venetian ballerina. While in Milan Goldoni, who knew the couple from Venice, spent an evening at their home, in his ...

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Maureen Needham Costonis

(b Paris, 1725; d 1777). French choreographer and dancer . He was the son of Antoine Bandieri de Laval (b Paris, 1688; d Paris, 20 Oct 1767), who had been a noted exponent of the danse sérieuse and had choreographed many revivals of operas by Campra and others. Michel-Jean joined the ...

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Ivor Guest

(François )

(b Paris, July 25, 1828; d Courbevoie, July 16, 1887). French choreographer . Engaged as a dancer at the Paris Opéra in 1848, he eventually succeeded Lucien Petipa as principal male dancer, retaining that position until his death. From 1869 he was also premier maître de ballet. A highly competent rather than an inspired choreographer, he worked in the style of Joseph Mazilier and Arthur Saint-Léon, whom he had observed at work in his earlier days. Besides independent ballets, he produced a number of divertissement for operas including Gounod’s Polyeucte (1878) and Le tribut de Zamora (1881), Massenet’s Le roi de Lahore (1877) and Le Cid (1885), Thomas’ Françoise de Rimini (1882), Saint-Saëns’ Henry VIII (1883) and the revival at the Opéra of Aida (1880).

I. Guest: The Ballet of the Second Empire (London, 1974)...

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Ivor Guest

(b Marseilles, Dec 22, 1815; d Versailles, July 7, 1898). French choreographer, brother of Marius Petipa. He was one of the finest male dancers of his time, renowned for the nobility of his style. He made his début at the Paris Opéra in 1839, and in 1841 created his most celebrated role, Albrecht in Giselle. As well as independent works, he created the ballets for a number of operas. Specially important was his collaboration with Verdi in the Opéra’s offerings for the first and second Universal Exhibitions in Paris. For Les vêpres siciliennes (1855) he arranged a long ballet, ‘Les Quatre Saisons’, skilfully integrated into the action. Don Carlos (1867) contained an important ballet, ‘La Pérégrina’, with a theme of its own. Less successful was Petipa’s Venusberg Scene for the Paris production of Tannhäuser in 1860; the uproar the opera caused was one of the great scandals of operatic history, but the opposition was less a matter of musical taste than a chauvinistic outcry against a German composer and an objection to the placement of the obligatory ballet too early in the opera. Petipa also arranged a charming ballet for Thomas’ ...

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[Francesco ]

(d Lisbon, Jan 18, 1775). French choreographer and dancer . His name first appears as ‘Mons. Soutter’, ballet-master for the 1738–9 opera season at the S Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice: his first opera was Rinaldo di Capua’s Farnace. Except for a three-year period in Stuttgart (1758–61), where he immediately preceded Noverre and choreographed three Jommelli operas, Sauveterre worked in Italy until 1766, creating ballets for operas in Padua (1740), Turin (1740–41, 1749–50), Florence (1743–4, 1746–7), Milan (1746, 1748, 1752–3, 1755–6, 1763, 1765), Reggio Emilia (1741, 1750–51, 1753, 1755), Naples (1742, Leo’s Andromaca), Rome (1749), Bologna (1756) and Venice (1749, 1740–51, 1763–6). Sacchini, Paisiello and Guglielmi are among the composers with whom he worked. In 1766 Sauveterre accompanied his student, Pietro Colonna, to Lisbon, and was recommended as dancing-master to the prince and choreographer for the court theatres, replacing Andrea Alberti, ‘Il Tedeschino’; there he choreographed many operas by Jommelli, as well as works by Perez, Piccinni and others. A contemporary writer in Florence described his ballets as superb. He emphasized dramatic and mimetic content in the style of ...

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[Jean Antoine ]

( fl 1755–92). French choreographer and dancer . His activities were concentrated in Venice, where he produced ballets for more than three dozen operas between 1755 and 1792. Much of his work was for the Teatro S Moisè during the 1770s and 80s, in operas by Traetta, Guglielmi, Bertoni, Astarita and Anfossi, among others, but he also created ballets for the S Samuele (1755–6, 1760, 1780–81), S Benedetto (1760, 1768–9), S Cassiano (1765, 1791–2), and S Salvatore (1767) theatres. In addition he worked as a dancer and choreographer in a number of other Italian cities, including Pistoia (1755, 1767), Rome (1757, 1761, 1778), Parma (1761), Reggio Emilia (1763), Milan (1766) and Turin (1778–9). About 1760 he married the ballerina Anna Conti-Nadi de Sales (detta la Russiene), and apparently adopted her son Federico Nadi. Federico worked at opera houses in Italy from the mid-1760s to the early 90s, often in productions with his parents; in ...