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Antoniu, Kristaq  

Mikaela Minga

[Antoniu, Christache]

(b Bucharest, Romania, Dec 25, 1907; d Tirana, Albania, March 17, 1979). Tenor, actor, and stage director. He studied at the Mimodramatic High School of Bucharest and then in Rome, with M. Polverosi. In Romania, he had a successful career as an actor and singer. He was in the movie industry in the 1920s and early 30s, playing in more than 15 films, including Ciocoii (1931), Iancu Jianu, (1928), and Maiorul Mura (1927). In the meantime, he worked in the Alhambra theater as a singer and stage director of operettas. In the mid 1930s, Antoniu moved to Albania and pursued a singing career. He made only one cinematic appearance in 1943, for the short film documentary Takimi në liqen (‘Meeting at the Lake’). He was a dramatic tenor, with a baritone quality in his voice. This led him to explore a large range of operatic characters from both the Western opera repertory and the Albanian one. He performed and recorded Albanian traditional or folk songs, handled with an operatic vocal posture and arranged with western harmonies. His son, Gjergj Antoniu was a prominent Albanian cellist....

Article

Athanasi, Gjoni  

Nicholas Tochka

(b Brockton, MA, USA, Nov 4, 1925). Albanian tenor and pedagogue. Born in the large Albanian immigrant colony in New England (USA), Athanasi returned as a child to his parents’ hometown of Korça, where he participated in its vibrant prewar choral, theatre, and sports scenes. During World War II, he performed with resistance groups singing patriotic and partisan songs and, in 1948, he was selected as a soloist in the newly formed National Army Ensemble by director Gaqo Avrazi. Athanasi was among a handful of young men in this ensemble to receive a scholarship to study in the Soviet Union, and following the completion of his degree in vocal performance at the Moscow State Conservatory in 1958, he was appointed soloist at Tirana’s Theatre of Opera and Ballet. He performed leading roles in premières of Albanian operas, and was active as a recitalist, performing a broad range of art music works from the Western European and Albanian repertories as well as arranged folk songs into the 1980s. In ...

Article

Bačanović, Milivoj  

Lana Paćuka

(b Herceg Novi, Montenegro, Dec 5, 1921; d Sarajevo, Bosnia, April 17, 2012) Bosnian baritone and opera soloist of Montenegrin origin. He made his début at the National Theatre in Sarajevo (1946), and after that, except for short engagements at the Zagreb Opera (1955–7), his artistic work was tied to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before beginning his musical education he attended the Maritime Trade Academy, after which he enrolled in solo singing at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro. He also worked as a member of the Ivo Lola Ribar ensemble in Belgrade.

His début in the role of Rigoletto (Rigoletto, G. Verdi) enabled him to gain the status of first soloist at the Sarajevo Opera, which was the decisive moment in his career. During his artistic career he interpreted the roles of Papageno (The Magic Flute, W.A. Mozart), Sima (Ero s onog svijeta...

Article

Badev, Nikola  

Trena Jordanoska and Dimitrije Bužarovski

(b Glišikj, Kavadarci, Republic of Macedonia, 1918; d Skopje Sept 25, 1976). Macedonian folk singer. His lyric tenor voice, with its distinctive timbre (simultaneously light and warm), was recognized soon after his first performance in Radio Skopje in 1948, and it was established as a model for the male vocal repertory of traditional Macedonian music. He sang softly, with richness, in a narrow piano dynamic spectrum, and with delicate use of vibrato and ornaments. He became an idol among Macedonian audiences worldwide and has been adored by Balkan audiences as well, taking tours in Europe, Canada, USA, and Australia.

His recorded repertory of over 230 songs (without variants) is published on dozens of LPs and cassettes. 359 recorded songs have been digitized and stored in the Buzarovski Archive (BuzAr) in 2005. His diverse repertory was carefully selected with a refined musical taste, mainly from urban traditional songs of all genres—love, elegiac, patriotic, and humorous songs. His voice was well suited to ensemble performance, resulting in duets with V. Ilieva, A. Sarievski, Mirvet Belovska, Dragica Nikolova, Blagoj Petrov Karagjule, Violeta Tomovska, E. Redžepova, Anka Gieva, and Atina Apostolova....

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Bakšić, Amila  

Ivan Čavlović

(b Mostar, 1953). Bosnian-Herzegovinian soprano. Bakšić graduated from the Secondary Music School in Mostar. In 1976 she graduated from the Department for Music Theory and in 1979 from the Department for Solo-Singing at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo. She studied solo-singing in the class of the famous opera singer and professor Milica Buljubašić-Zečević. As a student she began to sing at the Music Scene of Sarajevo, first at the student concerts and then on the opera stage. In 1979 she made her début as Rosette in Manon. In 1981, at the very beginning of her career, she performed her first leading role as Floramye in the operette Little Floramye by Ivo Tijardović.

After graduating from the Department for Solo-Singing Bakšić passed the audition at the National Theatre Opera in Sarajevo and has since become a permanent soloist in the opera and operetta repertoire. Some of her leading roles include Rosette in ...

Article

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....

Article

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 ...

Article

Barilli-Patti, Caterina Chiesa  

Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Patti family

(b Rome; d Rome, Sept 6, 1870). Italian soprano, wife of Salvatore Patti. She studied singing with Barilli, her first husband, and sang Eleanora at the first performance of Donizetti’s L’assedio di Calais in 1836 at the S Carlo, Naples, also appearing there in I puritani, Gemma di Vergy and Coppola’s La pazza per amore. She is said to have sung Norma in Madrid the night before the birth of her youngest child, Adelina Patti. After singing for a time in New York, she retired to Rome. The children of her first marriage, Clotilde (a contralto), Ettore (a baritone), Antonio and Nicolo (basses) Barilli, all had successful careers. Her eldest daughter by Patti, Amalia (b Paris, 1831; d Paris, Dec 1915), appeared as a soprano in opera and on the concert platform in the USA until her marriage to the pianist and impresario Maurice Strakosch....

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Benda [Hatašová], Anna Franziska  

Article

Berganza (Vargas), Teresa  

Harold Rosenthal

(b Madrid, March 16, 1935; d San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid, May 13, 2022). Spanish mezzo-soprano. She studied in Madrid with Lola Rodriguez Aragon, a pupil of Elisabeth Schumann. She made her début in 1957 as Dorabella at Aix-en-Provence, returning as Rosina, Purcell’s Dido, Cherubino, Octavia (L’incoronazione di Poppea), and Ruggiero (Alcina). In 1958 she sang Isolier (Le comte Ory) at the Piccola Scala and Cherubino at Glyndebourne, and made her American début at Dallas as Isabella (L’italiana in Algeri). She first appeared at Covent Garden in 1960 as Rosina, then sang Cherubino and, during La Scala’s 1976 visit, the title role of La Cenerentola. She sang at Chicago, the Metropolitan (1967–8), Vienna, Paris, and Salzburg; her roles included Cesti’s Orontea, Mozart’s Sextus, and Cherubini’s Neris (Médée). Her rich creamy voice with its great agility, perfect for the Rossini mezzo-soprano roles, developed a heavier tone and a more dramatic style appropriate to Carmen, which she sang at Edinburgh (...

Article

Bland, Charles  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Member of Bland family

(b London, Aug 14, 1802; d after Jan 1838). English tenor, son of Maria Theresa Bland. He sang at Covent Garden from 1824 and created the title role in Weber's Oberon (1826) under the composer's direction. The librettist, Planché, wrote that he sang ‘at least respectably the airs assigned to the King of the Fairies’, but the reviewer of the ...

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Bland, James  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Member of Bland family

(b London, March 5, 1798; d London, July 17, 1861). English bass-baritone and actor, son of Maria Theresa Bland. He sang in the company of the English Opera House at the Lyceum (1826–30) and then, after a brief period acting minor roles at Drury Lane, achieved fame in J.R. Planché's burlesque burlettas. Planché called him the ‘monarch of the extravaganza’, praised his ‘good baritone voice’ and wrote that his acting never degenerated into buffoonery. He died suddenly at the Strand Theatre, where he was due to perform in ...

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Bland [Romanzini], Maria Theresa  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Member of Bland family

(b ?1768/9; d London Jan 15, 1838). English soprano and actress. She was said to have had Italian Jewish parents who came to England when she was very young and, despite reports of a certificate stating that she was born and baptized at Caen in Normandy in September 1770, it seems almost certain that she was the ‘Italian Lady (four years old)’ who sang with the conjurer Breslaw and his Italian company at Hughes's Riding School near Blackfriars Bridge in May 1773. After further seasons with Breslaw she sang in 1780 with an Italian puppet show and the next year was in a pastoral medley at the Italian Opera and sang Cupid in King Arthur at Drury Lane. Miss Romanzini was a leading member of Charles Dibdin's child company at the Royal Circus, and then sang principal female roles in English operas in Dublin in ...

Article

Borosini, Antonio  

Carlo Vitali

[BoresiniBorosino]

Member of Borosini family

(b Venice or Modena, c1655; dVienna, after 1721). Italian tenor. He sang at S Marco, Venice, 1679–87, then moved to the ducal chapel at Modena, singing in oratorios and at the Teatro Fontanelli (1690, Legrenzi’s Eteocle e Polinice) and in Parma and Reggio nell’Emilia. In 1688 he was released at the request of the Elector of Hanover to sing in the première of Steffani’s Henrico Leone (30 January 1689); he returned to Hanover for Carnival 1696. He was appointed to the imperial court at Vienna in 1692 and retired in 1711 (or 1721, according to J.G. Walther’s Musicalisches Lexicon, Leipzig, 1732). He sang at the S Bartolomeo, Naples (1700, 1706–7), in Turin (1698, 1702), in Venice (1704–7, in serenatas and operas by C.F. Pollarolo and Caldara), in Genoa (1691, 1705, Caldara’s ...

Article

Borosini, Francesco  

Winton Dean

[Borseni]

Member of Borosini family

(b Modena, c1690; d after 1747). Italian tenor, son of Antonio Borosini. A pupil of his father, he probably made his début in Lotti’s Il vincitor generoso at Venice in 1709. He was engaged for the imperial court at Vienna from 1712 to 1731, and sang there in 11 oratorios by Caldara and a number of operas by Fux, the first (Orfeo ed Euridice) in 1715, and Conti. He was in the famous production of Fux’s Costanza e Fortezza in Prague (1723), and was for a time co-director of the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna. He sang the title role in Gasparini’s Bajazet (1719, Reggio nell’Emilia), and appeared at Modena (1720) and Parma (1729). He made his London début as Bajazet in Handel’s Tamerlano at the King’s Theatre (1724); he collaborated in Handel’s treatment of this subject, and the part was rewritten for him before performance. Borosini sang Sextus (a soprano part rewritten with new music) in ...

Article

Borosini, Rosa  

Winton Dean

[née d’Ambreville]

Member of Borosini family

(b Modena, c1693; d after 1740). Italian soprano, wife of Francesco Borosini. She was the daughter of the second maestro di cappella at Modena, and probably married Borosini in 1722. She sang in opera at Modena (1713–14, 1717 and 1720), Venice (1715–16), Mantua (1718) and Turin (1719). On 1 March 1721 she was engaged for Vienna at a salary of 1800 florins, retiring on a pension in 1740. She sang in a number of oratorios by Caldara and in Fux’s Costanza e Fortezza at Prague in August 1723. Her sister Anna (wife of the cellist Giovanni Perroni) sang at Bologna (1711), Modena (1713), Venice (1714 and 1726) and Milan (1728). She was engaged for Vienna at the same time as Rosa, but at a lower salary. Both singers sang in Vivaldi’s operatic undertakings in Venice and Mantua. Eleonora Borosini, a singer active at Innsbruck, Düsseldorf and Mannheim (...

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Bowman, James  

Alan Blyth

(Thomas)

(b Oxford, Nov 6, 1941; d Redhill, March 27, 2023). English countertenor. He studied at Oxford University and made his stage début in 1967 at Aldeburgh as Britten’s Oberon, a role he sang at Covent Garden, Strasbourg, Sydney, with the WNO, and at Glyndebourne, where he made his début in 1970 as Endymion in Cavalli’s Calisto. He created the Priest-Confessor in Maxwell Davies’s Taverner (1972), his Covent Garden début; the voice of Apollo in Death in Venice (1973, Aldeburgh Festival); and Astron (with Anne Wilkens) in Tippett’s The Ice Break (1977, Covent Garden); and sang Ridout’s Phaeton for BBC Radio. Britten dedicated his fourth Canticle, Journey of the Magi, to him, Pears, and Shirley-Quirk. Bowman was a noted Handelian, and for the Handel Opera Society sang Otho, Scipio, Xerxes, and Justinian, as well as Polinesso (Ariodante), which he repeated at Geneva and Buxton. His other Handel roles include Julius Caesar (Barber Institute), Ptolemy (San Francisco and the ENO), Goffredo in ...