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Xoán M. Carreira

(b Badajoz, Nov 3, 1827; d Stuttgart, May 1, 1859). Spanish soprano. A pupil at the Royal Conservatory in Madrid, she was appointed répétiteuse there in 1847 and held that position until April 1851. She was also singing teacher to the royal princesses. She performed in the last two operatic seasons of the Teatro del Real Palacio (which was suppressed in June 1851), singing in La straniera (1850) and Luisa Miller (1851), and perhaps other roles, before going to Italy. She made her début at La Scala as Gilda in the first Milan performance of Rigoletto (18 January 1853), and thereafter had a successful career which took her to the Opéra in Paris for ten months, to Italy and then to Germany, where she died suddenly.

B. Saldoni: Diccionario biográfico-bibliográfico de efemérides de muúsicos españoles, 3 (Madrid, 1880) A. Penã y Goñi...

Article

Kostas Kardamis

[Nazarena, Mattia, Catterina]

(b Corfu, May 14, 1821; d Barcelona, Nov 5, 1886). Greek contralto and mezzo-soprano of Neapolitan origin, considered, already during her lifetime, as the earliest Greek opera singer to pursue an international career. The indigence of her family, already severe in 1840, played a decisive role in Angri’s professional career. As her uncle’s protégée she went successively to Naples and Florence, and studied with Salvatore Taglioni and Giuseppe Doglia. In 1843 Lanari engaged Angri for her debut in Lucca. In 1844 she sang in Livorno and in La Scala, and in 1845 she was receiving bursary from Merelli. From 1845 to 1847 Angri shared her activities between Milan and Vienna. In 1846 her successful appearances in Vienna’s Hofoper earned her the title of the Austrian Emperor’s Kammersängerin.

In 1847 and 1848 Angri performed in St Petersburg and then between 1849 and 1856 appeared in London at Covent Garden and Her Majesty’s Theatre, in Paris at the Théâtre Italien and Salle Pleyel, and at Teatro Real of Madrid. In Britain Angri also performed in the National Concerts (...

Article

Theodore Fenner

(b Reggio Emilia, c1765; fl 1786–1826). Italian bass. Between 1786 and 1794 he sang in some of the leading theatres in Italy, including those at Bologna, Florence, Venice, Turin and Milan. In 1794 he went to Vienna, singing in operas by Cimarosa and Paisiello at the Hoftheater until 1800. In the first decade of the 19th century he returned to La Scala, also singing in Verona and Vicenza. He made his début at the King’s Theatre in London in 1816–17 and during the following seasons appeared with Pasta, Fodor-Mainvielle, Naldi and Ambrogietti. His diverse repertory included Mozart’s Figaro and Sarastro and Rossini’s Bartolo. In 1825–6 Angrisani made a tour of North America and appeared in the first New York performances of Don Giovanni, Tancredi, La Cenerentola and Il turco in Italia. Nothing is known of his last years.

GSL T. Fenner: Leigh Hunt and Opera Criticism: the ‘Examiner’ Years, 1808–1821...

Article

Dennis Libby

(b Rome, ?Feb 20, 1744; d Florence, July 5, 1826). Italian tenor. He began in opera seria in 1768 at Bologna and Venice, then appeared at Udine in 1770. He sang in Copenhagen (Sarti’s Demofoonte, 1771) and Germany, resuming his Italian career in August 1773, when he was engaged at leading houses to Carnival 1795. He appeared in Mysliveček’s Calliroe at Pisa in 1779, and in Anfossi’s Tito nelle Gallie and Cimarosa’s Cajo Mario in Rome in 1780; in that year he was also at the King’s Theatre, London. In 1778 he married the prima donna Giuseppina Maccherini (or Maccarini; fl 1765–91). Burney described his voice as ‘sweet, powerful, even, and of great compass and volubility’; others speak of a timbro stupendo, especially in the middle and lower registers, which, joined to his forceful acting, frequently created a furore, making him a prime agent in the shifting of focus in ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

[Caruso, Calogero Antonio]

(b New Orleans, July 15, 1929; d Tampa, FL, Feb 15, 2012). American tenor. He studied at New Orleans and in Rome, making his début in 1954 as the Holy Fool (Boris Godunov) at the Metropolitan, where he sang for 30 years in a wide variety of lyric and character roles. They included Almaviva, Ernesto, Nemorino, Beppe (...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Ferrara, April 5, 1961). Italian soprano . She studied in Bologna and made her début in 1986 at Arezzo as Rosina, then sang Flora (La traviata) at Bologna. In 1988, after winning the Pavarotti Competition, she sang Elizabeth (Maria Stuarda) in Bari Others of her roles are Horatia (Gli Orazi ed i Curiazi, Cimarosa) at Rome in 1989 and Lisbon, and the next year Fiordiligi at Venice and Macerata, Adalgisa at Catania, Polyxena in Manfroce’s Ecuba and the title role of Paisiello’s Elfrida at Savona. She also sang Mayr’s La rosa bianca e la rosa rossa at Bergamo. Her beautiful, dark-toned, flexible voice and dramatic temperament have been finely displayed in Rossini, as Dorliska at Savona, Ninetta (La gazza ladra) at Philadelphia, Anaï (Moïse) at Bologna, Semiramide at Catania and in the title role of Ermione at Rome (...

Article

George Leotsakos

[Ioannis, Yangos]

(b Athens or Menidi, Attica, ?1860; d Naples, Aug 28, 1905). Greek tenor. From boyhood he sang in the Royal Chapel and other Athens church choirs, and later studied, probably at the Athens Conservatory, with Alexandros Katakouzenos and Napoleon Lambelet. He made his operatic début in the first production staged by the newly formed Elliniko Melodrama company, Spyridon Xyndas’s O Ypopsifios Vouleftis (The Parliamentary Candidate, 1888). As the company’s leading tenor he sang principal roles in its tours of Egypt and Turkey (1889), Marseilles, Romania, Odessa, and Constantinople (1889–90), including Fernand, Edgardo, and Elvino. In 1890 he left Greece for Milan, and after six months of further training began to appear in Italian opera houses. From 1895 he sang leading roles from the French and Italian repertories at the S Carlo, La Fenice, and La Scala; he also made successful guest appearances in Russia. At Monte Carlo in ...

Article

( fl 1719–42). Italian choreographer and dancer . He was probably a native of Florence, since he is often cited in librettos as ‘Francesco Aquilanti, Fiorentino’ or ‘da Firenze’. His early choreographic work was concentrated in Venice, where he provided ballets for 17 operas at the Teatro S Giovanni Grisostomo (1721–34; including Leo’s Catone in Utica, Porpora’s Semiramide riconosciuta and works by Gasparini, Orlandini, Vinci and others), and for five operas during Ascension seasons at the Teatro S Samuele (1722–35; including Vivaldi’s Griselda). During this time he is also listed as a choreographer in Reggio Emilia (1725, Porpora’s Didone abbandonata) and as a dancer for opera productions in Turin (1727–8, 1729–30), along with Chiara Aquilanti who may have been his wife, sister or daughter. He spent two seasons in Naples as a choreographer, first for operas at the Teatro S Bartolomeo (1736–7...

Article

Andrew Lamb

(b Haro, Logroño, Nov 23, 1871; d Madrid, May 1, 1927). Spanish soprano. After completing her musical studies, she began her stage career in Madrid in June 1889 in Audran’s La mascotte. She then appeared at various Madrid theatres before being engaged as principal soprano at the Teatro de la Zarzuela for 12 years from 1895. She became a popular favourite there, creating leading roles in Giménez’s El baile de Luis Alonso (1896), Nieto’s El gaitero (1896), Caballero’s La viejecita (1897) and Gigantes y cabezudos (1898), Pérez Soriano’s El guitarrico (1900), Vives’s La balada de la luz (1900), and Giménez and Vives’s El húsar de la guardia (1904). She later made guest appearances in Barcelona, Murcia and elsewhere. She was noted for a beautiful soprano voice of considerable range, combined with natural acting ability and a dominating stage presence....

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Northampton, Aug 31, 1961). English tenor . He studied at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, and sang the part of Sandy in Maxwell Davies’s The Lighthouse for Thameside Opera at Bracknell in 1986. He made his official début in 1987 with Kent Opera as Tamino. At Buxton (1987 and 1988) he sang the title role of Conti’s Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena and Ubaldo in Haydn’s Armida. For the WNO he has sung Don Ottavio, Almaviva and Cassio; for Opera North, Almaviva and Achilles (King Priam). He has sung Ferrando for Scottish Opera, Opera Factory and Glyndebourne Touring Opera. In 1990 he made his Covent Garden début as Jaquino (Fidelio) and his ENO début as Tamino. He has sung Edward IV in Cesti’s Riccardo III at Turin, Andres (Wozzeck) at Parma, and Pylades (Iphigénie en Tauride) at Basle (...

Article

Roland J. Vázquez

(de)

(b Portugal, 1836; d Madrid, May 21, 1886). Spanish impresario, actor and singer. He first became popular in comic roles at theTeatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid. In 1866 he formed his own company, the Bufos Madrileños, modelled on Offenbach’s Bouffes-Parisiens. It was an instant success. By 1870 he had begun a second company in Barcelona. In addition to operettas by Offenbach and Lecocq, Arderíus staged new works by Spanish composers, including F. A. Barbieri and P. J. E. Arrieta.The dance routines and brief costumes of the female chorus were indispensable to the appeal of the Bufos, and were among the features that incited critics to condemn the genre as frivolous and a hindrance to the development of serious opera in Spanish. By the beginning of 1873 the company’s popularity had ended, and Arderíus had become director at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. Thereafter he championed the cause of national opera, attempting, without success, to launch a Spanish opera series in ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

[Rafael, Raphael]

(b Sofia, Aug 22, 1922; d Switzerland, March 17, 1988). Bulgarian bass . He studied the violin in Sofia, then turned to singing, making a concert début in 1939. He joined the National Opera in Sofia in 1945, and the next year won first prize in the Geneva International Competition. This led to further studies in Italy with Riccardo Stracciari, Apollo Granforte and Carlo Tagliabue, and to his début at La Scala as the King in ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Leksand, March 21, 1830; d Oslo, Jan 21, 1896). Swedish baritone . He studied at Uppsala, making his début in 1854 at the Mindre Theatre, Stockholm. Engaged at the Royal Opera, Stockholm (1858–74, 1877–83), he also sang in Oslo and in Germany. His repertory, ranging from Mozart to Wagner, included Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva, Figaro (Mozart and Rossini), Hans Heiling, Belcore, Don Carlo (...

Article

Philip Weller

( fl 1704–7). French soprano . After making her début at the Paris Opéra in 1704, as Venus and La Jeunesse in Destouches’ Le carnaval et la folie, she sang Iris in the revival of Lully’s Isis later that year. She created the role of Electra in Desmarets and Campra’s ...

Article

John Rosselli

[‘Il Comaschino’]

(b Como, c 1750–55; d after 1798). Italian castrato singer. Most of his career was spent in Russia. He sang the female leads in three successive seasons at the Teatro Argentina, Rome (1772–4), starting with Anfossi’s Alessandro nell’Indie, then appeared in Venice and Vienna, and reached St Petersburg in 1778. From 1780 to 1789 he was a leading singer at the court theatre, where he sang Orpheus in the Russian première of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (1782); he created Peter in Paisiello’s oratorio La passione di Gesù Cristo (1783). He retired in 1789 but stayed on until 1794 in Moscow; in 1795 he was at the court of the king of Poland. While based in Russia he made several trips abroad to recruit singers and buy materials for the imperial theatres. Mooser deduces (perhaps wrongly) that he pimped for the foreign minister, Alexander Bezborodko. On his return to Italy he bought lands formerly belonging to the noble Visconti family. No description of his singing appears to be known....

Article

J.B. Steane

(b Berlin, April 15, 1885; d Bad Sachsa, March 17, 1971). German contralto. She studied in Berlin and married her second teacher, Arthur Arndt. Her début was in Trovatore at Frankfurt in 1906, and she sang with Berlin State Opera from 1907 until her retirement in 1944. Her roles there included Amneris, which she sang with Caruso in 1908, and Kostelnička in the Berlin première of Jenůfa. In 1913 she made a highly praised début at the Metropolitan as Ortrud and then sang Octavian in the house première of Rosenkavalier. Later her Waltraute was praised as ‘one of the grand figures of the drama’. In 1914 she sang in Toscanini’s revival of Euryanthe, but on America’s entry into the war was dismissed from the company and interned. Back in Germany she resumed her career at the Berlin Opera, singing in the première of Egk’s Peer Gynt (1938...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Stockholm, March 20, 1861; d Stockholm, Feb 7, 1943). Swedish soprano . She studied in Paris and made her début in 1885 at Prague as Rosina. In 1887 she made her London début at Drury Lane and the following year was engaged at Covent Garden, where she sang Zerlina, Rosina, Cherubino, Papagena and Oscar (...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Motala, Nov 11, 1943). Swedish soprano. She studied in Stockholm, making her début there at the Royal Opera in 1974 as Olympia. Later roles included Violetta, Gilda, Sophie, Norina and Adina. In 1978 she made her Covent Garden début as Zerbinetta and in Stockholm she created the Chief of Secret Police in Ligeti’s ...

Article

Dennis Libby

(b ?Rome, c 1720; d after 1755). Italian soprano . She is first found in comic opera in Naples in 1735–6, and was expelled from the kingdom for unknown reasons, probably her sexual conduct. She was seconda donna in opera seria in Parma in Carnival 1737 and rose to prima donna in Carnival ...

Article

David Cummings

(b Graglia, nr Vercelli, 1720; d Turin, Oct 28, 1757). Italian soprano. After study with Bravio in Milan she made her début at the Teatro Regio, Turin, in Il Ciro riconosciuto by Leonardo Leo (1739). She sang at the Teatro S Samuele, Venice, from 1739 and appeared with Caffarelli at the S Carlo, Naples (...