Middlesex, Earl of [Sackville, Charles; later 2nd Duke of Dorset]
- Carole Taylor
[Sackville, Charles; later 2nd Duke of Dorset]
(b London, Feb 6, 1711; d London, Jan 6, 1769). English impresario . He made his first European ‘grand tour’, 1731–3, and undertook a second continental visit, 1737–8. He is best known as the extravagant young aristocrat who took up the direction of Italian opera at the King’s Theatre in 1739 just when Handel dropped the form altogether. Under his direction, Galuppi, Lampugnani and the soprano castrato Angelo Maria Monticelli were invited to appear in London from 1739 to 1745. Londoners also heard Pergolesi’s music on the stage for the first time in 1741–2 (L’Olimpiade), and Lord Middlesex undoubtedly had a hand in bringing Gluck over in 1745–6. Middlesex engaged a complete buffo company from Italy for the coming seasons, before withdrawing from direct involvement in the opera management in autumn 1748. Francesco Vanneschi, Middlesex’s chief poet and assistant manager, ultimately took over as impresario in 1753...