Aguiari [Agujari], Lucrezia [‘La Bastardina’, ‘La Bastardella’]
- Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell
[‘La Bastardina’, ‘La Bastardella’]
(b Ferrara, 1743; d Parma, May 18, 1783). Italian soprano. Traditions explaining her nickname describe her variously as a foundling raised by Leopoldo Aguiari, his natural daughter or that of Marchese Bentivoglio, while her pronounced limp was supposedly the result of having been partly eaten in infancy by a dog or hog. Her early studies in Ferrara with Brizio Petrucci, maestro di cappella at the cathedral, and then with Abbé Lambertini revealed her exceptional talents. After her opera début (1764, Florence) and initial successes (Padua, Lucca and Verona, 1765; Genoa, Lucca and Parma, 1766) she settled in Parma, where she met the composer Giuseppe Colla, the new maestro. On 1 January 1768 the court at Parma appointed her virtuosa di camera. She became one of Europe’s most sought-after sopranos.
In May 1768 Aguiari sang at Naples in Paisiello’s Le nozze di Peleo e Tetide for the wedding of the king and Maria Carolina. Paisiello, reportedly out of spite, composed for her two extremely difficult arias, which, however, she carried off triumphantly. At Parma in the summer of ...