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date: 07 December 2019

Brenna, Guglielmo locked

  • John Rosselli

Extract

(b 1806–7; d after 1882). Italian opera house official . An accountant by training, he was from 1843 to 1882 (with a break in 1859–67) secretary to the management committee of the largely aristocratic society that owned La Fenice, Venice, one of the three leading Italian opera houses in the 1840s and 50s. A committee member arranged the opera seasons, conducting much of the business himself, but as the post changed hands fairly often it was the secretary who provided continuity and acted as permanent manager. Brenna behaved in some ways like an impresario-agent, for example, by taking a cut on artists’ agency fees; he even tried unsuccessfully to take a cut on the baritone Felice Varesi’s fee when no outside agent was involved. His letters, written mainly on his superiors’ behalf, are impersonal. He appears to have been trusted: he negotiated with Verdi over the librettos of ...

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Venice, Teatro La Fenice, Archivio Storico-Musicale