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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 ...

Article

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...

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 ...

Article

Laurenti, Antonia Maria  

Michael Talbot

revised by Enrico Careri

[Novelli‘La Coralli’‘Corallina’]

Member of Laurenti family

(fl 1714–41). Italian contralto, possibly the daughter of Bartolomeo Girolamo. She was one of the most celebrated opera singers of her day. Her earliest appearance in opera was in Padua in 1714, and she sang in many northern Italian theatres thereafter. In 1719 F.M. Veracini engaged her for the Dresden opera at the high salary of 2375 thalers. After her departure in 1720 we find her listed as ‘virtuosa di camera di S Maestà il re di Polonia’ (Friedrich August I of Saxony) for a Vivaldi opera staged at Venice in 1721. Under her nickname ‘La Coralli’ she is referred to obliquely in Benedetto Marcello's satire Il teatro alla moda (1720). Antonio Denzio invited her to Prague in 1726. There she married the tenor Felice Novelli on 8 March 1727. The pair returned to Italy and thereafter often performed in the same productions. Laurenti's last known appearance was at Ferrara in the pasticcio ...