Kelly, Michael (William)
- Alec Hyatt King
(b Dublin, Dec 25, 1762; d Margate, Oct 9, 1826). Irish tenor, composer, theatre manager and music publisher. The eldest of the 14 children of Thomas Kelly (Deputy Master of Ceremonies at Dublin Castle, and a wine merchant), Michael Kelly grew up amid the rich musical life of Dublin, and received singing lessons from various immigrant Italians, notably Passerini and Matteo Rauzzini. His piano teachers included Michael Arne. He made an impromptu début as the Count in Piccinni’s La buona figliuola on 17 May 1777, and went on to sing in Dibdin’s Lionel and Clarissa and Michael Arne’s Cymon, before leaving Dublin in 1779, on Rauzzini’s advice, to study in Naples.
His most influential teachers were Fenaroli and Aprile, and he enjoyed the patronage of Sir William Hamilton. He made his Italian début in Florence in May 1781, and then sang in various Italian cities including Venice where in ...