Mazarin, Cardinal Jules [ Mazzarini, Giulio Raimondo ]
- James R. Anthony
[ Mazzarini, Giulio Raimondo ]
(b Pescina, Aquila, July 14, 1602; d Vincennes, nr Paris, March 9, 1661). French politician of Italian birth . He is important in the history of music for his advocacy of Italian opera in France. In his youth he was exposed to Roman opera while serving Cardinal Antonio Barberini; he attended, and perhaps participated in, Landi’s Sant’Alessio in 1632. From 1634 to 1636 he was in Paris as papal nuncio. He became a naturalized Frenchman in 1639, cardinal in 1641 (though he held only minor orders) and first minister in 1643 during Anne of Austria’s regency. He saw Italian opera in France as a potential source of secret agents and as a smokescreen for political manoeuvres. He therefore brought Italians to Paris: in 1643 the composer Marazzoli, in 1644 the singers Leonora Baroni and Atto Melani, in 1645 the designer Giacomo Torelli and in 1646 the composer Luigi Rossi. Moreover, by the end of ...