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Baglioni [Poggi], Clementina  

Barbara Dobbs MacKenzie

Member of Baglioni family (opera)

(fl 1753–88). Italian soprano, daughter of Francesco Baglioni. In 1753–9 she toured northern Italy with her father and one or two sisters, appearing in five comic operas at Venice in 1754–5. She also performed there in 1760–65 and 1775–8. Although best known for comic roles, she also sang in opera seria, appearing at Turin in 1759–60 (Galuppi’s La clemenza di Tito, Traetta’s Enea nel Lazio) and at Parma in 1761 and 1763 (J. C. Bach’s Catone in Utica). In 1762 she was in Milan and Vienna (Hasse’s Il trionfo di Clelia) and in 1767 in Naples, by which time she had married Domenico Poggi. She returned to Vienna where, in 1768, Mozart wrote for her the elaborate part of Rosina in La finta semplice, which however she never performed. She sang in Vienna in 1772–4 with her sisters Costanza and Rosina, and may have done so in Paris in ...

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Baglioni, Francesco  

Barbara Dobbs MacKenzie

[Carnace]

Member of Baglioni family (opera)

(fl 1729–62). Italian bass and impresario. He was a comic opera singer who began singing intermezzos in the late 1720s in Foligno and Pesaro. He launched his comic opera career in Rome in 1738 with Gaetano Latilla’s La finta cameriera and Madama Ciana and Rinaldo da Capua’s La commedia in commedia. Productions throughout northern Italy of these operas along with another first performed in Rome, Rinaldo da Capua’s La libertà nociva (1740), dominated Baglioni’s career for the next decade. In 1749 he appeared in the dramma giocoso L’Arcadia in Brenta in Venice, the first collaboration between Galuppi and Goldoni, and for the remainder of his career he primarily sang texts written by Goldoni, in cities along the axis from Venice to Turin. According to the libretto of Lo speziale (1755, Venice; music by Vincenzo Pallavicini and Domenico Fischietti), Baglioni was a member of Girolamo Medebach’s opera troupe. Three of his daughters appeared in productions with him: Giovanna from ...

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Baglioni, Giovanna  

Barbara Dobbs MacKenzie

Member of Baglioni family (opera)

(fl 1752–1770s). Italian soprano, daughter of Francesco Baglioni. She began her career singing with her father in productions of comic opera. Her first role was Eugenia, a serious part in Galuppi’s comic Arcifanfano, re dei matti (1752, Parma). She continued to sing serious roles in productions of comic opera in northern Italy with her father and her sisters in the early 1760s; by ...

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Bannister, Charles  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Member of Bannister family

(b Newland, Gloucs., 1741; d London, Oct 19, 1804). English bass and actor. He had a fine, untaught voice and sang roles including Macheath and Hawthorne in Norwich before his Drury Lane début as Merlin in Michael Arne’s Cymon (1767). In 1768 he created Don Diego in The Padlock and for over 20 years was given leading roles in musical pieces by Dibdin, Shield and Arnold. Tom Tug in The Waterman and Steady in The Quaker were two of his successes; he was also admired for his Grimbald (King Arthur), Hecate and Caliban. According to the Thespian Dictionary his voice ‘was a strong, clear bass, with one of the most extensive falsettos ever heard’. In the early 1780s he was an incomparable Polly in travesty performances of The Beggar’s Opera. There, as in his famous imitations of the castratos, the humour lay in brilliantly accurate mimicry and not in exaggerated burlesque. Convivial, improvident, witty and good-natured, he was said to attribute his vocal stamina to gargling with port wine....

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Bannister, John  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Member of Bannister family

(b Deptford, London, May 12, 1760; d London, Nov 7, 1836). English actor and baritone, son of Charles Bannister. During his career he played, according to his Memories, well over 400 different parts. He became a favourite comic actor and after his marriage to the soprano Elizabeth Harper in 1783 he began to take singing roles. Robson praised his voice as ‘full, round, clear, manly, and intelligible’ and declared: ‘everybody loved Jack Bannister’. In Storace’s operas, from The Haunted Tower (1789) onwards, he and Nancy Storace were frequently paired as the secondary lovers and Kelly later wrote roles for him. In Storace’s exuberant afterpiece The Three and the Deuce (1795) he played identical triplets, while as Walter, the saviour of the babes in Arnold’s The Children in the Wood, he delighted audiences from 1793 until his farewell performance in ...

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Brambilla, Giuseppina  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Brambilla family

(b Cassano d’Adda, 1819; d Milan, 1903). Italian contralto, sister of Marietta Brambilla. She made her début in Trieste in 1841 and sang in Rome, Milan and Barcelona; then in 1846 she was engaged at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, where she appeared as Maffio Orsini, the part created by her eldest sister. In ...

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Brambilla, Marietta  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Brambilla family

(b Cassano d’Adda, June 6, 1807; d Milan, Nov 6, 1875). Italian contralto. After studying at the Milan Conservatory with Secchi, she made her début in 1827 at the King’s Theatre, London, as Arsace in Rossini’s Semiramide. During the season she sang two more travesty roles, Adriano (Meyerbeer’s Il crociato) and Romeo (Zingarelli’s Romeo e Giulietta), becoming a specialist in such parts. She sang Paolo at the first performance of Generali’s Francesca di Rimini in 1828 at La Fenice. At La Scala (1838) she sang Cherubino and Arsace (Semiramide). Donizetti composed two trouser roles for her, Maffio Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia, first given at La Scala in 1833, and Pierotto in Linda di Chamounix, which had its première at the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna, in 1842. He also adapted the second tenor role of Armando di Gondi in Maria di Rohan...

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Brambilla, Teresa  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Brambilla family

(b Cassano d’Adda, Oct 23, 1813; d Milan, July 15, 1895). Italian soprano, sister of Marietta Brambilla. She made her début in Milan in 1831 and sang throughout Italy with great success for 15 years. In 1846 she appeared in Paris as Abigaille in ...

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Brambilla-Ponchielli, Teresa  

Elizabeth Forbes

[Teresina]

Member of Brambilla family

(b Cassano d’Adda, April 15, 1845; d Vercelli, July 1, 1921). Italian soprano, niece of Marietta Brambilla. She studied with her aunts Marietta and Teresa. She made her début in 1863 as Adalgisa at Odessa, afterwards singing in Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, St Petersburg and Italy. In ...

Article

Devriès, David  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Devriès family

(b Bagnères-de-Luchon, 1881; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1934). French tenor of Dutch extraction, son of Maurice Devriès. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire and made his début in 1904 as Gérald (Lakmé) at the Opéra-Comique, where he was engaged for many years. In 1906 he created Philodemus in Erlanger’s Aphrodite, and he was particularly successful as George Brown in the 1909 revival of Boieldieu’s La dame blanche. His roles included Almaviva (Il barbiere), Don José, Julien (Louise), Pinkerton, Des Grieux (Manon), Vincent (Mireille), De Nangis (Le roi malgré lui), Jean Gaussin (Sapho), Armand (Thérèse), Werther, Araquil (La Navarraise), Cavaradossi, Rodolfo and Alfredo. In 1909–10 he sang with the Manhattan Opera Company in New York and Philadelphia, making his début as Ange-Pitou (La fille de Madame Angot). He also sang Strauss’s Aegisthus and Narraboth and, with the permission of ...

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Devriès, Fidès  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Devriès family

(b New Orleans, April 22, 1851; d 1941). Dutch soprano, daughter of Rosa de Vries-van Os. She studied in Paris and made her début in 1869 at the Théâtre Lyrique in Halévy’s Le val d’Andorre. After singing at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, in 1871 she was engaged at the Paris Opéra, making her début as Marguerite, later singing Isabelle (Robert le diable), Inès (L’Africaine) and Ophelia, which she sang in the 100th performance of Hamlet (1874). At the Théâtre Italien she sang Amelia (Simon Boccanegra) and Salome (Hérodiade), then in 1885 she created Chimène in Massenet’s Le Cid at the Opéra. She sang Elsa in the first Paris performance of Lohengrin at the Eden-Théâtre in 1887. In Monte Carlo she added Aida, Violetta and Leïla (Les pêcheurs de perles) to her repertory and in ...

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Devriès, Hermann  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Devriès family

(b New York, Dec 28, 1858; d Chicago, Aug 24, 1949). Dutch baritone, son of Rosa de Vries-van Os. He studied with J.-B. Faure in Paris, where he made his début in 1878 at the Opéra as Méru in Les Huguenots. He sang other minor roles such as Wagner (...

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Devriès, Jeanne  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Devriès family

(b New Orleans, before July 1850; d 1924). Dutch soprano, daughter of Rosa de Vries-van Os. She studied with Duprez in Paris, making her début there in 1867 at the Théâtre Lyrique as Amina (La sonnambula). The same year she created Catharine in Bizet’s ...

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Devriès, Maurice  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Devriès family

(b New York, 1854; d Chicago, 1919). Dutch baritone, son of Rosa de Vries-van Os. He made his début in 1874 at Liège as Nevers (Les Huguenots). He was engaged at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, where in 1884 he created Gunther in Reyer’s ...

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Díaz [Diaz], Rafaelo  

John Koegel

[Francisco Rafael ]

(b San Antonio, TX, May 16, 1883; d New York, NY, Dec 12, 1943). American operatic tenor and recitalist of Mexican and German heritage. He was the most prominent Mexican American opera singer of his day, although perhaps to advance his career he used the Italian-sounding first name “Rafaelo,” and press reports sometimes identified him as Spanish instead of Mexican American or Mexican. Díaz attended the German-English School and the West Texas Military Academy (now Texas Military Institute) in San Antonio. He studied piano with Amalia Hander, a local music teacher, and at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. After vocal studies with Vincenzo Sabatini in Milan, he returned to the United States and in 1911 began appearing in small roles with the Boston Grand Opera Company, quickly moving up to more prominent assignments. He accompanied the soprano Luisa Tetrazzini on a tour in 1913 and made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Massenet’s ...

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Donnelly, Malcolm  

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Sydney, Feb 8, 1943; d Oct 10, 2021). Australian baritone. He studied in Sydney, where he made his début in 1966, and then in London before joining Scottish Opera (1972), with which he sang Count Almaviva, Malatesta, the Music-Master (Ariadne auf Naxos), James Stewart (Musgrave’s ...

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Falcon, Ruth  

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Residence, LA, Nov 2, 1946; d New York, Oct 9, 2020). American soprano. She studied at Tulane University and in New York, and made her début in 1974 as Micaëla with the New York City Opera. She sang in Mayr’s Medea in Corinto at Berne in 1975, then joined the Bayerische Staatsoper; she also sang in Berlin, Brussels, Houston, Boston, Toronto, Venice, Florence, Strasbourg, Lyons, Toulouse, Aix-en-Provence, and at the Paris Opéra. Her repertory includes Countess Almaviva, Electra (Idomeneo), Donna Anna, Agathe, Desdemona, Leonora (Il trovatore and La forza del destino), Amelia (Il duca d’Alba), Norma, Julia (La vestale), Salome (Hérodiade), Anne Boleyn, Elsa, and Ariadne. She first sang at Covent Garden in 1987 as the Empress (Die Frau ohne Schatten), the role of her Metropolitan début in 1989, and returned to Covent Garden as Chrysothemis in ...

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Gibin, João  

Noël Goodwin

[Giovanni]

(b São Paulo, July 10, 1929; d Verona, Italy, June 12, 1997). Brazilian tenor. He began singing as a baritone; after winning the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer South American ‘Caruso Competition’ in 1954, he went to study in Italy and made the change to tenor while at the Scuola della Scala, Milan. His engagements in Italy made him known elsewhere: in ...

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Holm, Renate  

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Berlin, Aug 10, 1931; d Vienna, April 21, 2022). German soprano. She studied with Maria Ivogün in Vienna, where she made her début in 1957 in operetta. Engaged at the Volksoper and later the Staatsoper, she appeared there for over 20 years. At Salzburg (1961–3) she sang Blonde and Papagena. Her repertory included Zerlina, Despina, Marzelline, Norina, Mařenka, Sophie, Isotta (...

Article

Howells, Anne  

Alan Blyth

(b Southport, Jan 12, 1941; d Andover, May 18, 2022). English mezzo-soprano. She studied at the RMCM, singing Helen in the British première of Gluck’s Paride ed Elena (1963) while a student. She made her professional début in 1966 as Flora (La traviata) with the WNO. At Glyndebourne (1966–89), she created Cathleen in Maw’s Rising of the Moon (1970) and also sang Erisbe (Ormindo), Dorabella, the Composer, Diana (Calisto), Clairon, and Baba the Turk. She made her Covent Garden début in 1967 as Flora, created Lena in Bennett’s Victory (1970), and sang Hermia, Rosina, Cherubino, Siébel, Mélisande, Helen (King Priam), Olga, Thea (The Knot Garden), Despina, and Clairon (1991). She made her Chicago (1972), Metropolitan (1975), and San Francisco (1979) débuts as Dorabella. At Geneva she sang Octavian, Idamantes, Régine in the première of Liebermann’s ...