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Article

Charles Pitt

(b Hinsbourg, Jan 4, 1904; d Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Sept 7, 1984). French conductor, composer and opera administrator . He studied in Strasbourg with Erb and in Paris with Koechlin and Gédalge. He joined the Strasbourg Opera in 1933 as a répétiteur and stayed until he retired in 1972, being successively chorus master (1933–6), conductor from 1936, co-director (with Ernest Bour) from 1955 to 1960 and director (1960–72).

Adam sought to create a balanced repertory of French, German and Italian classics, together with contemporary works (such as Jean Martinon’s Hécube, 1956, which was specially commissioned) and revivals of rarely given masterpieces such as Les Troyens (1960) and Roussel’s Padmâvatî (1967). He gave the first French performances of Bizet’s Don Procopio (1958), Françaix’s L’apostrophe (1958), Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero (1961), Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (1965), Britten’s ...

Article

Lesley A. Wright

[Adrien ]

( b Bayonne, France, June 7, 1828; d Asnières-sur-Seine, France, Aug 13, 1898). French composer, pianist, and teacher . After studying with Leborne, he won the Prix de Rome in 1854. The music section of the Académie praised his envoi, the French opera Don Carlos (1857), for its craftsmanship, fine orchestration, and strong sense of the stage, and in 1858 they awarded him the Prix Édouard Rodrigues for his oratorio Judith, over the only other competitor, Bizet. That year Barthe married mezzo-soprano Anna Banderali.

The Théâtre-Lyrique opened a competition in 1864 on Jules Adenis’s libretto La fiancée d’Abydos, for Prix de Rome winners whose work had not yet reached the stage. Barthe was the unanimous choice of the jury, above Émile Paladilhe and three others. Extensive changes were made during rehearsal and the première took place on 30 December 1865. Critics were largely positive, though they noted resemblances to Meyerbeer, Félicien David, Gounod, and others, and found the libretto somewhat tedious. After a respectable 21 performances (in Paris and Bayonne) the work disappeared from the repertory....

Article

Xoán M. Carreira

(b Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, March 12, 1884; d El Ferrol, Coruña, Nov 4, 1938). Spanish composer and conductor He studied the flute and composition at the Madrid Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Tomás Bretón. After playing in chamber groups and touring abroad (1906–9), he was appointed director of music of a regiment in El Ferrol, where he spent the rest of his life except for a period in Africa, 1915–17. As well as a large amount of military music, three dramatic scenes and five symphonic poems, he composed many zarzuelas (alone and in collaboration), of which few survive. In 1928 he conducted the première of his opera Cantuxa, whose success led to further performances in Spain and at the Teatro Colón. A story of jealousy (including a death quarrel at a local folk festival) in rural Galicia, the opera exemplifies verismo in its continuous melodic tension, vocal characterization, immediacy of emotion and the anguish of its brutal ending. Of Baudot-Puente’s other opera, ...

Article

Bertil H. van Boer

(b Stockholm, Aug 10, 1757; d Vaxhälla, March 17, 1810). Swedish actor, singer and librettist . He made his début as an actor as Count Almaviva in Beaumarchais’ play Le barbier de Séville in 1785 at the New Swedish Theatre, where he became well known for his comic roles and original opera librettos, mostly written for Carl Stenborg’s comic opera. In 1790 he became an administrator at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, a position he held until after Gustavus III’s assassination in 1792. In 1794 he turned to publishing in the provincial town of Linköping. During his career he supplied the texts for more than 65 one-act comedies with music, including the Singspiels Födelsedagen (‘The Birthday’, 1790), Fricorpsen eller Dalkarlarne (‘The Free Corps or Men from Dalacarlia’, 1788) and Marknaden (‘The Market Place’, 1792), all with music by Kraus. His tenor voice was considered expressive but fairly weak; his main talent as an actor lay in his satirical portrayals of figures such as Abbé Vogler in the first of the operas named above....

Article

Gabriella Biagi Ravenni

(b Lucca, Feb 5, 1742; d after 1798). Italian librettist, dancer and choreographer. A brother of Luigi Boccherini, he made his début as a dancer in Venice in 1757, but his major successes were achieved in Vienna between 1759 and 1767 (for example, Noverre’s revived Médée et Jason) and from 1769 to 1771. He used this success to begin a career as a librettist; he was a member of the Accademia dell’Arcadia (with the name of Argindo Bolimeo) and published a collection of sonnets. His libretto Turno, re dei Rutoli, a dramma tragico (Vienna, 1767), was never set to music, but reveals a progressive approach to drama; its commendation by Calzabigi, appended to the libretto, led to contact with Salieri, who set to music most of Boccherini’s subsequent librettos. These reveal a talent for pantomime and choreography, and handle theatrical conventions with ease. From 1772 to 1775...

Article

[Dionysus Lardner ]

(b Dublin, Dec 26, 1820 or 1822; d New York, Sept 18, 1890). Irish dramatist . Known primarily as an actor, he played regularly in New York and London from the 1850s, excelling in his depictions of Irish heroes. Though nearly all his dramatic works were adaptations, they were often brilliantly constructed. His most successful pieces were London Assurance (1841, produced under the pseudonym Lee Morton); The Colleen Bawn, or The Brides of Garryowen (1860, after G. Griffin: The Collegians, or The Colleen Bawn), later adapted by Boucicault and John Oxenford as the libretto for Benedict’s opera The Lily of Killarney (1862); and Arrah-na-Pogue (1865). With B. N. Webster Boucicault adapted an opéra comique by Ambroise Thomas, Le panier fleuri, for London, as The Fox and the Goose, or The Widow’s Husband (1844, Adelphi Theatre).

DNB (J. Knight) J. W. Cole...

Article

Adeodatas Tauragis

(b Vilnius, April 16, 1869; d Vilnius, March 7, 1953). Lithuanian conductor and composer . He studied the piano, composition and conducting at the St Petersburg conservatory with Rimsky-Korsakov, Lyadov and Glazunov, graduating in 1900. His début as an opera conductor took place in Gor’kiy (now Nizhny-Novgorod) in 1899...

Article

Carlo Vitali and Juliane Riepe

[Giulietto ]

(b Rome, c1668; d Rome, Feb 19, 1755). Italian soprano castrato and composer. He was already a member of the Congregazione dei Musici di Roma in 1683, and in 1684 was in the cappella of St Mark’s, Venice; in the 1683–4 season he appeared at the Teatro di S Bartolomeo, Naples. He studied with Colonna (and possibly Pistocchi) in Bologna and in 1688 joined the Accademia Filarmonica and the cappella of S Petronio. Between 1683 and 1692 he was among the singers of S Maria Maggiore, Rome. In 1696 he took part in Perti’s Penelope la casta and Furio Camillo in Rome. During the following two years Cavalletti sang in Florence and Pratolino, and between 1698 and 1703 he was virtuoso di camera to the Duchess of Laurenzano. During this period he was granted leave to sing in Naples; at the Teatro di S Bartolomeo he performed in Scarlatti’s ...

Article

Irene Alm

(b Milan, ?1755; d after 1838). Italian dancer, choreographer and composer. A pupil of Noverre, he danced at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna in 1775 and presented his first choreography at the Teatro S Agostino in Genoa during Carnival 1776. Most of Clerico’s works were created for the opera houses in Venice, where he worked during the 1780s at S Samuele, S Benedetto and S Moisè, and later in his career at the Fenice, and in Milan, where from 1790 he graced the stage of La Scala for nearly 40 years. He also created ballets for opera houses in Turin, Rome, Brescia, Padua, Bologna, Parma and Florence, and returned to work in Vienna, 1798–1800. Clerico often danced in his own ballets with his brother Gaetano and sister Rosa (who in 1786 married the choreographer and dancer Lorenzo Panzieri). Their exceptional abilities as dancers, according to Ritorni, contributed in part to the success of Clerico’s ballets. Not only was he a renowned choreographer and dancer, but he also composed the music for many of his ballets. He was considered the heir to Angiolini, and an important precursor of Viganò. His enormous output totals nearly 80 ballets, many of which were restaged throughout Italy and in foreign theatres....

Article

J. Bunker Clark

[Corri, P(hilip) Antony ]

(b Edinburgh, ?1784; d Baltimore, Feb 19, 1832). American composer and singer of British birth , son of Domenico Corri. As P. Antony Corri he was well established as a composer in London by about 1808–13, when a great many of his piano pieces and songs were published. He was one of the organizers of the Philharmonic Society in 1813, and sang in its first concerts. Some time afterwards he emigrated to the USA (apparently because of marital problems), where he appeared in New York and Philadelphia, and had settled in Baltimore by November 1817. Christened Arthur Clifton on 31 December 1817, he married Alphonsa Elizabeth Ringgold on 1 January 1818. He held positions as organist and choirmaster in Baltimore from 1818 until his death. He taught singing and probably also the piano, appeared in concerts as a singer and pianist, and was a theatre music director for at least two seasons. He continued to compose songs and piano pieces. His opera ...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(Arthur)

(b London, March 14, 1887; d Killin, Perthshire, Dec 19, 1982). English conductor and composer. He was a choirboy at Westminster Abbey, organ scholar at Exeter College, Oxford (1908–12), and then a student at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where his teachers included Nikolay Tcherepnin and Maximilian Steinberg. He graduated in 1917 and after military service in Britain returned to Petrograd as an assistant to Albert Coates, at that time a conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre. In 1920, back in London, he joined the music staff at the Old Vic, which at that period presented opera as well as plays. In 1931, when Sadler’s Wells Theatre opened as an extension of that management, he became principal conductor of opera, and was largely responsible for the development of the company’s repertory and standards. He shared with Coates the first performances in Britain of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan...

Article

[Margarita ]

(b Rome; fl 1629–57). Italian singer and poetess, sister of Anna Francesca Costa. Her rather chequered career as a talented courtesan led her from Rome through Florence (1629), Rome (1644), Turin (1645) and Paris (1647) before returning again to her native city; her patrons included the Medici (in particular, Grand Duke Ferdinando II), the Barberini and Cardinal Mazarin. Her rivalry with another Roman soprano, Cecca del Padule, was reputed to have inspired Domenico Mazzocchi’s La catena d’Adone (1626), although she did not take part in the performance. Costa’s numerous publications include poetry, letters, a comedy (Li buffoni, Florence, 1641), a libretto for a Festa reale per balletto a cavallo (Paris, 1647, with a dedication to Mazarin: it had been offered to Grand Duke Ferdinando II in 1640), and two opera librettos, La Flora feconda (Florence, ...

Article

José Antonio González

(b Bologna, c1770; d ?Mexico, after 1825). Italian composer and conductor. He was probably a pupil at the Bologna Conservatory and later studied with Paisiello and Cimarosa. In 1798 he was musical director at La Scala and his first opera, La citta nuova, was performed there. He went to Barcelona in 1803 and then lived in Madrid (1803–11) and Cuba (1811–22), composing several Spanish operas. In 1823 he was living in Mexico as a piano teacher and composer.

all lost

MDCP Madrid, Teatro de los Caños del Peral

Article

(b St Petersburg, 29 May/June 10, 1893; d Kiev, Feb 6, 1939). Russian conductor and composer . He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory with Lyadov and Shteynberg (composition) and Nikolay Tcherepnin (conducting). Having led the orchestra at the Mariinsky Theatre he was conductor from 1918, and music director from 1925 to 1936. A talented opera conductor, he achieved a sensitive integration of voices and orchestra to dramatic as well as musical purpose. Under his direction the theatre staged notable productions of The Love for Three Oranges, Wozzeck and the original version of Boris Godunov between 1926 and 1928. In 1936 he became artistic director and chief conductor at the Kiev Opera, where he staged many operas by Ukrainian composers. He composed several works himself, and wrote articles on the problems of operatic dramaturgy.

I. Belza: ‘Vladimir Alexandrovich Dranishnikov’, Voprosï muzïkal’no-ispolnitel’skogo iskusstva [Problems in the Art of Musical Performance], v, ed. ...

Article

Michel Noiray

(b Tours, 1770; d Versailles, Dec 6, 1845). French composer and singer . Fay first appeared as a tenor at the Théâtre Louvois in 1791; he joined the company of the Opéra-Comique in 1792 and that of the Théâtre Feydeau in 1797. After 1801 he sang mainly in provincial theatres, but also in the Netherlands and Belgium, where he concluded his career in 1826. His wife, Mlle Rousselois (known as Bachelier), was a singer at the Théâtre Feydeau, and the couple managed the three théâtres in Marseilles, 1811–13. Although this venture ended in financial disaster, Fay published a Plan d’une organisation générale de tous les théâtres de l’Empire (1813), which contains information on theatrical practice at the time of Napoleon. His comédieClémentine is an ambitious work with substantial numbers, and it is meticulously written. Reviews of Fay’s other operas, although sometimes favourable, criticized his heavy orchestration and lack of melody....

Article

David Charlton

[Jacques ]

(b Lyons, 1750; d Paris, May 1836). French composer and singer . He went to Paris, according to Fétis, in 1779 and taught music; from about 1781 to 1785 he published songs and keyboard arrangements. On 1 November 1788, a scène by Foignet was given at the Concert Spirituel. In 1791, when it became a common right in France to open a theatre, he began to compose stage works, initially in collaboration with Louis Victor Simon. These were primarily opéras comiques or vaudevilles and enjoyed much success; most are lost.

From 1798 to 1809 Foignet was (with Simon) one of five joint administrators of the Théâtre Montansier, and in 1801 took over the Théâtre des Jeunes-Artistes, rue de Bondy, where he ran a highly regarded troupe with his son François Foignet, who was chief conductor. Almost nothing is known of Foignet after 1807, when most small theatres were closed by Napoleon....

Article

Piero Rattalino and Noël Goodwin

(b Buenos Aires, July 18, 1927). Italian conductor and composer, son of Benvenuto Franci. He studied at the Rome Conservatory and in 1952 attended Fernando Previtali’s conducting courses at the Accademia di S Cecilia. At first a conductor only of symphonic music, he made his operatic début in ...

Article

Igor Vajda

(b Spišský Štiavnik, Nov 20, 1918; d Piešt’any, July 7, 1967). Slovak composer and conductor . He studied composition with Alexander Moyzes at the Bratislava Academy (1934–9) and went on to study conducting with Bernardino Molinari at the Accademia di S Cecilia (1939–42). He began his conducting career at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava (1942–9), was head of the Košice Opera (1949–52) and then chief opera conductor in Bratislava from 1953. His two operas are in a neo-romantic style. Martin a slnko (‘Martin and the Sun’; Bratislava, 18 Jan 1975), is a children’s opera to a libretto by Alexandra Braxatorisová after Branislav Kriška. The story is based on Slovak folk tales and the music draws inspiration from a number of styles, from Classicism to full-blown, especially Russian, Romanticism, from verismo to expressionism, and includes some symphonic jazz, all against a background of Slovak folksong. ...

Article

Ruth Pincoe

(b Norwich, April 11, 1912). Canadian composer, theorist and conductor of English origin. He moved to Canada in 1928, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1930. His composition teachers have included Alfred Whitehead in Montreal and Paul Hindemith at Yale University (1952–3). He also studied conducting with Willem van Otterloo in Utrecht (1956). From 1946 until his retirement in 1977, he taught at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He also conducted the Queen’s SO (1946–54), and founded and conducted both the Kingston Choral Society (1953–7) and the New SO of Kingston (1954–7).

George’s music is in a 20th-century idiom characterized by traditional formal structures and modal harmonies, and influenced by his studies of ethnomusicology and the structural aspects of music. His operas are large-scale works based on historical events with librettos adapted from contemporary writing. He has also composed many choral pieces....

Article

[‘Lo Zanardino’ ]

(b Bologna, July 31, 1661; d Bologna, Dec 15, 1729). Italian soprano castrato and composer , son of Vincenzo and Angela Laurenti. A pupil of Agostino Filippucci, he became a member of the Bologna Accademia Filarmonica in 1685. From 1675 to 1688 he spent much of his time as a soprano at S Petronio; evidence from librettos shows that between 1679 and 1687 he also sang in operas by Perti, Tosi and others in Parma and Bologna. In 1688 he entered the Congregazione dell’Oratorio in Bologna, where he became praefectus musices, and maestro di cappella. According to Penna, ‘because of his noble talent he was worthy to serve the Emperor Leopold I as a virtuoso for many years’; in fact he was only in Vienna from May to July 1686. Penna states also that ‘in the most celebrated cities in Europe he distinguished himself, both in church and theatre as equal to any musician that lived in that time’....