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Charles Hamm

revised by Kimberly Greene

(b London, England, March 20, 1774; d London, England, Feb 17, 1856). English tenor and composer. He made his debut as a boy soprano at Covent Garden in 1787. He sang in Europe after his voice broke, returning to England at the turn of the century, where he established a reputation as one of the country’s leading tenors. He traveled to the United States in the autumn of 1840 and, at the age of 68, “surpassed all expectations” with the “pathos, sublimity, power, and wonderful execution” of his voice. He appeared first in concert, with a selection of tenor and baritone airs from opera and oratorio mixed with popular ballads. His American operatic debut, at the Park Theatre in New York, was in Stephen Storace’s The Siege of Belgrade, and he went on to re-create many of his famous roles, in Charles Horn’s The Devil’s Bridge, Thomas Dibdin’s The Cabinet, and Weber’s Der Freischütz. At one point he astonished audiences and critics by appearing in seven demanding roles in less than two weeks....

Article

[Constantia](Caecilia Josepha Johanna Aloisia)

Member of Mozart family

(b Zell, Wiesental, Jan 5, 1762; d Salzburg, March 6, 1842). Soprano, wife of (3) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and later of his biographer Georg Nikolaus Nissen. She was the third of four daughters of the bass, prompter and copyist Fridolin Weber, and thereby related to the composer Carl Maria von Weber (see Weber family). She first met Mozart in 1777–8 in Mannheim; he fell in love with her elder sister Aloisia, who rejected him. Constanze moved with her family to Vienna in September 1779; from 2 May 1781 Mozart lodged with her mother, and on 4 August 1782 married Constanze in the Stephansdom. There were six children, of whom two, (5) Carl Thomas and (6) Franz Xaver Wolfgang, survived to maturity. During a visit to Salzburg, she sang one of the soprano parts in a performance at the abbey of St Peter of the Kyrie and Gloria of her husband’s Mass in C minor ...

Article

Eva Badura-Skoda and Roberto Pagano

Member of Scarlatti family

(b ?Palermo, 1669–72; d Naples, Aug 1, 1760). Tenor, brother of (1) Alessandro Scarlatti. He went to Naples at such an early age that he later knew nothing of his infancy in Sicily. He was apparently trained at the Conservatorio S Onofrio. On his marriage certificate (30 May 1701) he declared that he had never left Naples, but this detail conflicts with his presence in Crema at the beginning of the same year, when he was described as ‘virtuoso del duca di S Pietro’ and sang the principal role in Il Furio Camillo (the dedication on the libretto is dated 22 January 1701) and in L’innocenza giustificata. In 1703 he sang in his nephew Domenico’s Giustino in Naples. At the beginning of his career he played serious roles, but later specialized as a buffo tenor, contributing to the establishment of a Neapolitan version of an old ingredient of Venetian opera. Sartori (...