- Dennis Libby
(b ?Rome; fl 1743–78). Italian soprano . She began in comic opera at Naples in 1743–4 and Palermo in 1745–6, becoming a pupil of the composer Perez. In 1748 she was in service at Bayreuth and in 1749–50 she was seconda donna in opera seria at Vienna, where she made an impression on Metastasio, who praised her eyes, figure and voice (range approximately b ♭ to b ♭″), although he considered both her voice and stature too small for a prima donna. However, she sang as prima donna in Italy from 1751 and during the period 1757–62 in London, at the King’s Theatre, where, with her husband Trombetta, she was also manager, 1757–63; it was she who engaged J. C. Bach in 1762 to write for the theatre. She was not seconda donna there in 1754–6, as Burney averred; this was probably Camilla Mattei, possibly a relative. She then retired and in ...