Hasse, Johann Adolf (opera)
- Sven Hansell
(b Bergedorf, nr Hamburg, bap. March 25, 1699; d Venice, Dec 16, 1783). German composer . For nearly half a century, his opere serie were performed in the leading Italian and German opera houses. He delighted singers and audiences with the classical restraint and lyrical beauty of his music and became known as ‘il caro Sassone’. Although he was slow to recognize all the requirements of the Metastasian drama, he gradually made Metastasio’s philosophy his own and became one of the poet’s favourite composers: between 1743 and 1771 Hasse was usually the first composer to set the librettist’s texts.
Hasse belonged to a dynasty of church musicians active in Lübeck and Bergedorf (today a suburb of Hamburg). In 1718 he joined the Hamburg Opera and in 1719 became court singer in Brunswick thanks to Johann Ulrich von König, who later produced German translations of Hasse’s operas in Dresden. König’s son Friedrich August functioned as the impresario at the Dresden court and signed decrees naming Hasse Oberkapellmeister on ...