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Carlo Vitali

(Ignazio Gaspare Melchiorre Baldassarre)

(b Bologna, June 17, 1684; d Bologna, Nov 11, 1750). Italian patron. The second son of Count Cornelio and Maria Caterina Bentivoglio, he was married to Princess Eleonora Colonna of Rome. In 1740 he was appointed privy councillor to the German emperor Karl VI. With his fine taste, considerable wealth and personal or family connections he had a far-reaching influence on European theatrical life, not only in Bologna (where he led the management committee of the Malvezzi theatre), but also in Venice, Florence, Rome, Vienna, London and in various German cities. His correspondence during 1717–50 ( I-Bas ), includes many letters from his protégés, most importantly Farinelli, in whose career and personal affairs he took an interest from an early stage. Among composers, he favoured Leo, Hasse, Sandoni, G. M. Orlandini and L. A. Predieri, often providing them with commissions for new operas or court employments; but not Vivaldi, whom he apparently disliked. Among prima donnas, he sponsored Tesi, Bordoni, Cuzzoni, Turcotti and Anna Maria Peruzzi (‘La Parrucchiera’); as for male singers, he showed a predilection for such representatives of the modern school as (besides Farinelli) the castrato Giuseppe Appiani and the tenors Fabri and Babbi....