Gismondi [Resse; Hempson], Celeste
- Franco Piperno
(d London, March 11, 1735). Italian soprano. Acclaimed for her interpretation of intermezzo soubrette roles in Naples between 1725 and 1732, she succeeded Santa Marchesini as partner to the bass Gioacchino Corrado. During that period she created the female roles in all Hasse’s intermezzos and in others by Vinci and Sarro. In 1732 she married an Englishman named Hempson who took her to London, where she sang under various names from November 1732 to 1734 in works by Handel and others. She created the role of Dorinda in Handel’s Orlando and took part in performances of his Alessandro, the pasticcio Catone, Tolomeo and Deborah as well as works by Porpora (Arianna in Nasso, Davide e Bersabea and Enea nel Lazio) and Giovanni Bononcini (Astarto).
She had a voice of brilliant quality particularly suited to syllabic declamation but also capable of virtuoso passages; arias written for her often parody the emotional heights of serious roles. Dorinda’s music calls for a compass from b♭ to b♭″....