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Philip Weller

(b Prangey, nr Langres, Nov 15, 1726; d after 1779). French bass . He joined the Paris Opéra about 1750, singing Neptune and Polyphemus in the 1752 revival of Lully’s Acis et Galatée. He then created Borée and Eole in Mondonville’s Titon et l’Aurore (1753). He took principal roles after the retirement of Chassé in 1757, but faced stiff competition from Larrivée who rose swiftly to prominence after his début in 1755. Though subordinate, Gélin stood his ground, singing Thoas in the last revival of Desmarets and Campra’s Iphigénie en Tauride in 1762, and creating important roles in Dauvergne’s tragédies lyriques of the early 1760s. For Gluck he sang Calchas to Larrivée’s Agamemnon in the première of Iphigénie en Aulide (1774), the High Priest in Alceste (1776) and Hidraot in Armide (1777); he also created roles for Gossec. He retired in ...


Elizabeth Forbes

(b Venice, 1775; d Milan, May 13, 1835). Italian tenor. He made his début in 1796 at Ascoli Piceno. From 1800 to 1803 he sang in Naples, and between 1812 and 1828 he appeared frequently at La Scala. He created Lindoro in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri (1813...


Michael Dubiaga Jr


(b Verona, Dec 30, 1741; d Verona, Jan 4, 1809). Italian composer and singer. He entered the choir school at Verona Cathedral in March 1755 where, in addition to the academic curriculum, he studied plainsong and counterpoint under the maestro di cappella Daniel dal Barba. After his ordination he joined the chapter choir as cappellano and from 1775 was a bass in the cathedral choir. In addition to clerical duties at a local church, he probably served as apprentice to Dal Barba. In December 1779 Giacometti assumed full teaching responsibilities at the choir school and was accorded rights of succession to the cathedral position on Dal Barba’s death. From 1789 he was the leading composer at the cathedral, where he continued in service until the end of his life.

Of special interest among Giacometti’s compositions are an expressive Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel and the virtuoso lectiones for Holy Week in which simple recitative sections alternate with florid solo passages. A small instrumental complement of two violas and violone is often used in his choral music; full orchestral ensembles were used only in pontifical celebrations. A facile declamatory style with little melodic inventiveness prevails in many works, especially his responsories, but occasionally contrasts of key and metre create striking effects. Giacometti’s compositions retained popularity into the 19th century; in Spagnolo’s opinion he ‘was justly considered the most skilful composer of his time’....


Gerhard Croll and Irene Brandenburg

(fl 1752–73). Italian singer. She apparently began as a dancer in 1752 at the Teatro S Samuele, Venice, but was engaged as a singer in Florence from 1756 to 1757. In 1759 she returned to Venice to sing at the Teatro S Angelo. In 1760–61 she sang in Prague, in Giuseppe Scarlatti’s Adriano in Siria, and was resident in Prague in 1764–5. The highpoints of her career were her performances in the premières of Gluck’s operas Il trionfo di Clelia (1763, Bologna), in the title role, particularly impressing Dittersdorf, and Le feste d’Apollo (1769, Parma), as well as her contribution (as Silvia) to Mozart’s festa teatrale Ascanio in Alba (1771, Milan), when Leopold and Wolfgang mentioned her as having had to repeat an aria. But in 1772–3, when she appeared in England (in Vento’s pasticcio Sofonisba and Sacchini’s Il Cid and Tamerlano), Burney found her intonation ‘frequently false’, though he commented on her ‘spirited and nervous style’. A Barbara Girelli, perhaps her sister, sang in Parma (...


John A. Rice

(bc 1760; d 1792 or later). Italian soprano . She is sometimes identified with a singer named Bianchi, but there is no strong supporting evidence. She seems to have started singing publicly in oratorios in 1778. Seven years later she made her opera seria début in Florence in the title role of Tarchi’s Virginia at the Teatro della Pergola, and she went on to create the role of Semiramide in Prati’s La vendetta di Nino. Her success in the role may have been an important factor in her sudden rise to prominence as an opera seria singer.

Giuliani spent 1788–9 in London, singing works by Sarti, Cimarosa, Cherubini and Tarchi. Back in Florence for Carnival 1791, she created the role of Phaedra in Nasolini’s Teseo a Stige and revived Prati’s La vendetta di Nino. Leopold II, assembling an opera seria troupe in Vienna, made Giuliani his prima donna, and she made her Viennese début in winter ...


Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

( fl 1751–77). Italian soprano castrato . Burney wrote that Giustinelli ‘had a good voice, and sufficient merit to supply the place of second man on our stage in the serious operas’. After his début in Rome in 1751 he performed regularly there and in other Italian operatic centres until 1763, when he became a member of the Italian opera company at the King’s Theatre, London, for two years, singing in Orione (1763), J. C. Bach’s first opera in England. In the 1764–5 season he appeared at Drury Lane in two new English operas, M. Arne and Battishill’s Almena and William Bates’s Pharnaces. He then visited Lisbon to sing in opera, but returned to England by February 1768. In 1777 he is listed among the ‘cantanti choristi’ for an opera in the ducal theatre at Mantua.

BDA BurneyH LS SartoriL M. C. de Brito: Opera in Portugal in the Eighteenth Century...


(b Brussels, bap. Feb 12, 1753; d Brussels, Oct 20, 1819). Flemish singer and composer, brother of Eugène(-Charles-Jean) Godecharle and fifth son of Jacques-Antoine. According to Fétis, he was a chorister at the royal chapel and studied composition with De Croes. He was employed at the royal chapel from 1778 as a bass singer, and held the post until the chapel was dissolved in 1794. He was also a musician at the church of St Nicolas, where he succeeded his father as maître de musique. He was nominated a member of the Institut des Pays-Bas in 1817 (Fétis). He composed several sacred works; vander Linden noted their italianate, theatrical style and their elaborate rhythmic treatment, figuration and instrumental writing.

in B-Bc

For bibliography see Godecharle [Godecharles, Godschalck], Eugène(-Charles-Jean).


Alina Nowak-Romanowicz

revised by Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Silesia, c1739; d Kraków, March 30, 1789). Polish composer and singer. He was active in Kraków from at least 1766 (in which year he was married), first in the chapel choir of St Mary’s, later (c1774) as singer and composer for the Wawel Cathedral choir. From 1781 to 1787 he also worked as a teacher at the Kraków singing school run by the priest Wacław Sierakowski, and took part in concerts of oratorios and cantatas organized by Sierakowski, modelled on those of the Concert Spirituel, Paris.

Gołąbek’s music is significant in the formation of a Polish Classical style, as is evident in the forms he used (two-subject expositions, short development and recapitulation), thematic structure, treatment of the bass part (clearly following the tradition of the basso continuo), and the use of galant elements in slow movements (for example in his Parthia). There are four extant, unaccompanied masses, conforming to the type ‘missa sine credo’, mostly composed in a homophonic style but containing some polyphony. Gołąbek’s instrumental music is characterized by a non-schematic approach to composition combined with a degree of melodic ingenuity. His sacred works, as well as his symphonic works, were well known in his day and were highly regarded, not just in the Kraków region....


Murray R. Charters

revised by Stephen Roe

(b Naples, c1740; d ?Italy, after May 1782). Italian soprano, wife of J.C. Bach. Her earliest known appearance was at the Teatro di S Salvatore, Venice, in 1760. She sang in Venice, Bologna and elsewhere in Italy until 1766 and was then in London as prima donna seria for the 1766–7 season. She was back in Italy in 1767 and sang at S Carlo, Naples in 1769. But she returned to London and appeared several times at the King’s Theatre (1769–72), performing regularly in the works of, among others, J.C. Bach: Gioas in 1770, his adaptation of Gluck’s Orfeo in 1770 and (for a benefit concert directed by Bach and Abel) Endimione in 1772. For the next four seasons (1773–6) Grassi was a regular performer in the Bach-Abel concerts. She did not appear in opera again, but sang arias at these concerts and at festivals outside London. Bach wrote many pieces especially for her, including the cantatas ...


Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht

(b Zwickau, bap. Feb 5, 1732; d Gera, Aug 2, 1792). German composer and Kantor. He probably received his musical education from his father, Johann Gottfried Gruner (d 1763), a Kantor in Zwickau and Gera. In 1764 he succeeded his father as Kantor at the Landesschule and Johanniskirche in Gera and held these positions until his death. His compositions include keyboard concertos, chamber works, a secular cantata and sacred pieces; most are easy and pleasant pieces for musical dilettantes revealing little originality, although he was highly esteemed by his contemporaries. When his house was destroyed by the large Gera fire in 1780, 1102 people (among them J.F. Reichardt and C.P.E. Bach) subscribed to 1368 copies of his first set of six keyboard sonatas (1781), and his works were still popular in 1800, when a volume of his choral works was published posthumously.


Gerhard Croll

revised by Irene Brandenburg

(b Lodi, Feb 16, 1728; d Padua, Nov 11, 1792). Italian alto castrato, later soprano. In 1746 he travelled from Cremona, by way of Mantua, to Padua, where in the summer he took up employment as an alto at the cappella of S Antonio; in autumn of that year he sang at the Teatro S Moisè, Venice. In the 1748–9 season he was engaged by the Haymarket Theatre, London, as a member of Croza’s company of comic singers. Handel, whose attention he had caught, transferred to him the parts in Messiah and Samson originally written for Susanna Cibber and wrote for him the part of Didymus in Theodora (1750). Burney claimed to have been of assistance to him in studying his roles; he later depicted Guadagni’s voice as a ‘full and well-toned countertenor’, adding that during his first stay in England Guadagni ‘was more noticed in singing English than Italian’. As an actor Guadagni was greatly influenced by Garrick, who ‘took great pleasure in forming him’. Micah’s aria ‘Return, oh God of hosts’ (...


Gerhard Croll and Irene Brandenburg

(b Montefiascone, c1720; d after 1770). Italian soprano castrato. He studied with Bernacchi and began his theatrical career in Italy in 1743 when he made his début in Urbino as Dorinda in the pasticcio Flora. In 1750 he was engaged by Farinelli for the Spanish court, where he sang for the rest of his career, and from 1752 until 1756 was in the service of the Viennese court, where he sang with Caterina Gabrielli in the première of Gluck’s L’innocenza giustificata (1755). He also sang in Lisbon, in Italy (where he appeared in Traetta’s Alessandro nell’Indie, 1762, Reggio nell’Emilia) and for two seasons (1766–8) at the King’s Theatre, London, singing in the première of J.C. Bach’s Carattaco. Among his last engagements was a highly successful appearance in Rome in Piccinni’s Didone abbandonata in 1770. From 1770 to 1777 he was in Bologna (...


Ethyl L. Will

(b Le Mans, Aug 26, 1745; d Paris, Feb 23, 1807). French composer, guitarist, singer and ecclesiastic. In his youth he sang in the choir of Le Mans Cathedral and studied both music and literature at the maîtrise there. After moving to Paris he was an alto in the choir at Notre Dame and later appointed sous-maître de musique. During the Revolution he lost this position and was forced to earn his livelihood by teaching singing and the guitar. A celebrated guitarist as well as a diligent composer of both secular and sacred music, he furnished many guitar accompaniments for airs by other composers (e.g. Grétry, Devienne and Doche) and edited a volume of guitar solos (Petits airs, c1780) that included works by Grétry, Monsigny and Philidor. His own vocal compositions, admired for their beautiful and original melodies, enjoyed something of a vogue in Paris; before the Revolution he published at least ten vocal collections (...


Frédéric Robert

(b Versailles, Oct 25, 1752; d Paris, March 25, 1829). French singer and composer. From 1760 to 1768 he served as page for the musique du roi. In 1775 he made his first documented public appearance, singing a motet by Baur Schmit at the Concert Spirituel; he continued to perform at the Concert Spirituel until 1779, when he took part in a particularly disastrous performance of Pergolesi’s Stabat mater, after which he never returned. In 1775 he joined the chapel of the Marshal of Noailles, and in 1776 he became an ordinaire de la musique de la chambre; at about that time he joined the Société Académique des Enfants d’Apollon. He was appointed professor of singing at the newly opened Ecole Royale de Chant in 1784, and in 1793 he was named to the Comité des Artistes de l’Opéra. When the Paris Conservatoire opened in 1795, Guichard was hired to teach vocalization. He remained at the Conservatoire until ...


[Jacob ]

(b Graz, July 20, 1762; d Djakovar [now Đakovo], March 24, 1826). Austrian composer, singer and choirmaster. He joined Schikaneder’s company at Vienna’s Theater auf der Wieden in or around 1789, acted and sang tenor roles and, from the mid-1790s, supplied the theatre with Singspiele and incidental music. After the death of his first wife in 1806 he left Vienna and went to Djakovar, Slavonia, where he spent the rest of his life as choirmaster at the cathedral. On 7 January 1807 he married Sophie Weber, thereby becoming Mozart’s posthumous brother-in-law. After Haibel’s death, his widow moved to Salzburg and lived with her sister Constanze; Sophie Haibel had been close to Mozart in his last months, as is made clear by the moving report she wrote in 1825 for Constanze’s second husband, G.N. Nissen.

Haibel’s first score for Schikaneder, the ballet Le nozze disturbate, was given no fewer than 39 times in ...


Roland Würtz

revised by Paul Corneilson

(b Heldenbergen, Oberhessen, Jan 31, 1750; d ?Munich, 1819). German tenor. From 1763 he was educated at a Jesuit seminary in Mannheim and in 1768, at the age of only 18, was appointed musical director of the Katharinenkirche in Oppenheim. Two years later he began legal studies in Mainz. By 1772 he was a member of Theobald Marchand's troupe in Frankfurt, and he later secured a post as a singer at the Mannheim court, where he had instruction from Anton Raaff. He made his début at Mannheim in the summer of 1774, singing in Das Milchmädchen und die beiden Jäger, a German version of Egidio Duni's Les deux chasseurs et la laitière. From 1777 he sang at Mannheim in the newly founded Nationaltheater (managed briefly by Marchand) as well as at the court theatre, his roles including that of Karl in Ignaz Holzbauer’s Günther von Schwarzburg in 1777...


Susan L. Porter

(b nr Manchester, England, cJune 7, 1765; d nr Bladensburg, MD, Sept 12, 1805). Actor, singer, and theatrical manager of English birth. He began his career in 1782 with the Tate Wilkinson troupe in York; by 1790 he was playing leading roles in tragedy, comedy, and comic opera at the major English provincial theaters. He made his debut in the United States on 26 September 1792 with the Old American Company in Philadelphia, together with his second wife, Frances Hodgkinson (née Brett) (b England, 1771; d Philadelphia, PA, 27 Sept 1803). In addition to his varied acting roles and his notable popularity with audiences, Hodgkinson frequently sang in concert. He was credited with “a fine taste for music” and a voice that was “powerful, melodious, variable, and of immense compass” (Mirror of Taste and Dramatic Censor, i/3, 1810); he was also said to be proficient on the violin and the flute. He became manager of the Old American Company in ...


(b Rosenthal, Saxony, Feb 2, 1714; d Dresden, June 2, 1785). German composer, organist and Kantor.

The son of a Lutheran pastor, he spent his childhood from 1714 in Porschendorf (Pirna district). After his father’s death in 1722 he attended the Annenschule in Dresden, where in 1734 he composed his earliest extant work, the cantata Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild. He sometimes stood in for the organist at the Annenkirche, J.G. Stübner, who was probably his organ teacher. On 14 May 1735 he matriculated at Leipzig University in law; a class report from the professor A. Kästner (16 September 1741) reads: ‘For three years the candidatus juris has availed himself of my praelectionum iudicarum and striven to master the fundamenta iuris. He has, however, always allowed music to be his main task’. At this time he also took lessons from Bach in composition and keyboard playing, as mentioned by J.A. Hiller (...


[Franziskus, Franciscus]

(b Berlin, c1756; d Berlin, Oct 25, 1805). German singer and composer of Bohemian origin. By 1770 he was a waldhorn player in the Kapelle of Prince Heinrich of Prussia in Rheinsberg. He was taught singing and the violin but not the waldhorn, as it allegedly harmed the voice. He studied for a year at Halle University, after which the prince sent him to Paris, where he lived and studied with Denis Diderot. On his return (c1773) he became private secretary to Prince Heinrich. After the building of a new theatre in Rheinsberg (1773), operas and French classic dramas were performed at the court; the prince wrote the opera texts and Horzizky some of the music. He also participated as a singer, together with his wife and his brother Johann. Horzizky’s operas from this period are unfortunately lost. He remained at court as singer and musician until ...


Richard Crawford

(b Windham, CT, Nov 17, 1771; d St. Louis, MO, July 29, 1838). American composer, singer, and singing master. Although it is unknown at what schools he taught before 1808, Huntington is said to have been a singing master for all his working life, which was spent until about 1804 in and around his hometown, and thereafter in Troy, New York (1806), Northampton, Massachusetts (1807–11), Boston (1812–29), and St. Louis. On 10 May 1808 he advertised in Northampton, Massachusetts: “Musical Instruments. For sale, and instructions given by J. Huntington”; in 1818 and 1820 he advertised both singing-schools and flute lessons in Boston. His tunebook The Apollo Harmony (Northampton, MA, 1807) contained instructions for “Violincello, and German Flute.”

Huntington’s career as a compiler illustrates the shift in taste that took place in New England between 1790 and 1820. The Albany Collection (...