Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Subscriber: null; date: 08 December 2019

Scarlatti, Tommasolocked

  • Eva Badura-Skoda
  •  and Roberto Pagano

Member of Scarlatti family

(b ?Palermo, 1669–72; d Naples, Aug 1, 1760). Tenor, brother of (1) Alessandro Scarlatti. He went to Naples at such an early age that he later knew nothing of his infancy in Sicily. He was apparently trained at the Conservatorio S Onofrio. On his marriage certificate (30 May 1701) he declared that he had never left Naples, but this detail conflicts with his presence in Crema at the beginning of the same year, when he was described as ‘virtuoso del duca di S Pietro’ and sang the principal role in Il Furio Camillo (the dedication on the libretto is dated 22 January 1701) and in L’innocenza giustificata. In 1703 he sang in his nephew Domenico’s Giustino in Naples. At the beginning of his career he played serious roles, but later specialized as a buffo tenor, contributing to the establishment of a Neapolitan version of an old ingredient of Venetian opera. Sartori (RMI, vol.46, 1942) considered Tommaso Scarlatti a key person in the first season of Neapolitan opera buffa, when he appeared as a dim-witted, deformed servant in Li vecchie cofiejate and as an old woman gardener in Le fenzejune abbentorate (1710), and again as an old woman in La Cianna (1711); he also suggested that Nicola Orilia and Michele Falco may have written for him the part of Ciccuzza, the elderly pedlar and villain who, in Lo Lollo Pisciaportelle, takes every opportunity to sing, in Sicilian, the praises of Palermo and to insult Naples. Further appearances are documented in 1736, 1737, and 1740; from 1722 he was employed at the royal chapel. The opera singer Rosa Scarlatti (b Naples, 5 May 1716), who appeared in Venice in 1747 and later in Vienna, may be his daughter, and the composer (8) Giuseppe Scarlatti may possibly be his son of that name (b Naples, 18 June 1723).