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(b 1780; d after 1833). Italian bass . He sang in Italy from about 1807, then appeared at the Théâtre Italien, Paris (1815). Engaged at the King’s Theatre, London, he made his début as Count Almaviva, then sang Don Giovanni (1817), Dr Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia...

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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...

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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 ...

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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....

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Bologna, Feb 19, 1754; d Bologna, Sept 22, 1816). Italian tenor . He studied with Arcangelo Cortoni and made his début in 1773 in Modena. After singing in various Italian cities, he was engaged at the court operas of Berlin and then St Petersburg (1777–81), where he was much admired in works by Paisiello. He appeared in Lisbon, Madrid, Vienna, at the King’s Theatre, London (...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b London, ?1745; d Edinburgh, July 1, 1786). English actress and soprano . Daughter of the trumpeter Valentine Snow, she eloped with the actor Robert Baddeley and in 1764 made her début as Ophelia at Drury Lane. Although the prompter Hopkins found her Ophelia ‘very bad, all but the singing’, she made a charming heroine in genteel and Shakespearean comedy. In English operas she was particularly successful as Patty (The Maid of the Mill) and Rosetta (Love in a Village). She created roles in Dibdin’s Ephesian Matron and Recruiting Sergeant and her performance of his song in praise of Shakespeare, ‘Sweet Willy O’, was the hit of the Garrick Jubilee. Her beauty gained her many admirers, but her scandalous private life, extravagance and indulgence in laudanum eventually destroyed her. After 1780 she appeared only in Dublin, the provinces and finally Edinburgh, where she died in poverty....

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Dennis Libby

(b ?Genoa, ?1758; d after 1784). Italian soprano . She was said to have come from an impoverished noble Genoese family, her real name being Maria Bertaldi. Although she sang in opera seria alone from 1778 to 1784, retiring after her marriage, she made a great impression and was long remembered. She appeared at Pavia, Venice, Milan (as seconda donna in the distinguished company that opened La Scala in ...

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(b Bologna, fl 1716–67). Italian singer. She is referred to in some programmes as Ferrarese – perhaps through confusion with her father, the bass Francesco Belisani – but is the ‘Belisania’ mentioned in the celebrated frontispiece of Marcello’s Il teatro alla moda. She sang in opera seria and pastoral dramas from 1716 (Armida abbandonata), mostly in works by the Bolognese composer G. M. Buini, whom she married in 1721, but parts were also written for her by Vivaldi (Gliinganni per vendetta, 1720), Chelleri, Orlandini, Brivio and others. From 1727 she styled herself virtuosa of the Prince of Hessen-Darmstadt, governor of Mantua.

G. F. Malipiero: Antonio Vivaldi, il prete rosso (Milan, 1958) S. Durante: ‘Alcune considerazioni sui cantanti di teatro del primo settecento e la loro formazione’, Antonio Vivaldi: teatro musicale, cultura e società: Venice 1981, 427–82 E. Selfridge-Field: ‘Marcello, Sant’Angelo and Il teatro alla moda’, ...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(fl 1772–98). Italian soprano. She was prima buffa in the Italian opera company at the King’s Theatre, London, in the 1786–7 season, when Burney found her singing ‘extremely graceful and pleasing’, and she substituted for Mara in Tarchi’s serious opera Virginia. She had been singing in Italy since ...

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...

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Hans Joachim Marx

( fl c 1725). German soprano . She sang in Dresden before going to the Hamburg Gänsemarkt Opera in 1724. She made frequent appearances at the Hamburg Opera until 1726, under Telemann’s direction; her roles included Arethusa in Keiser’s Cupido (1724), Ursel in Keiser’s Der Hamburger Jahrmarkt (...

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Franco Piperno

(b Florence; fl 1737–58). Italian mezzo-soprano . Initially a singer of intermezzos, in 1742 she married the bass Pietro Pertici, with whom she performed commedie per musica; as members of companies specializing in opera buffa the two contributed significantly to the wide success of the genre. Brogi took soubrette and leading juvenile roles in the highly successful comic operas of Auletta, Chinzer, Latilla and others. She worked mainly in Tuscany but also sang in Venice, Milan, Turin, Brescia, Mantua, Genoa and Bologna; outside Italy she appeared in comic opera in London (...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

[Mrs Cargill ]

(b London, c 1759; d off Scilly Isles, March 1784). English soprano and actress . She made her début as a child in Arne’s The Fairy Prince (November 1771) and appeared regularly on the London stage from autumn 1772. She created the roles of Clara in The Duenna, Mrs Townly in Hook’s The Lady of the Manor and Marinetta in Linley’s The Carnival of Venice. She was a captivating Macheath in Coleman’s travesty Beggar’s Opera in 1781. Her private life was unsettled, both before and after her marriage, and in 1782 she went to India, reputedly with a lover. There she ‘played all her favourite opera characters at immense prices, and likewise attempted tragedy with considerable applause’. On her return journey she drowned with a child in her arms when the packet Nancy sank.

BDA DNB (J. Knight) LS A. Pasquin [pseud. of J Williams]: ...

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Dale E. Monson

(fl 1743–65). Italian tenor. Little is known of his life; librettos refer to him only as ‘bolognese’. He first sang in a revival of Buini’s Le frenesie d’amore in Bologna in 1736, then appeared in Rimini two years later. After 1743 he was regularly engaged as tenore in Venice, Lucca, Rome, Bologna, Naples, Ferrara and Siena. In 1749–51 he appeared in Madrid, where he created the title role for Galuppi’s first setting of Demofoonte, a part he later repeated for Bologna. He spent 1755–6 in Vienna and returned for four more operas in 1760–61. His last known engagements were in Venice in 1764–5. Carlani’s voice was lyric, and his music often marked by profound pathos. Hasse’s new setting of Artaserse for Naples in 1760 shows that he had an extraordinarily wide range of nearly three octaves, from F to d″. He was capable of extended coloratura, including large leaps in fast tempos, repeated notes and frequent scale passages. In his later years, when his voice was in decline, he increasingly accepted secondo uomo roles....

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Dennis Libby

(fl 1772–88). Italian soprano. She was married to Antonio Carrara, a Venetian employed by David Garrick. By 1772 she had begun to sing in London concerts and was seconda donna at the Italian Opera in 1772–3, described by Walpole as ‘the prettiest creature upon earth’, but by Burney as having a ‘voice … naturally drowsy, childish, and insipid’; however, after lessons from Millico she sang with him as prima donna at Florence in ...

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John Rosselli

(d after 1790). Italian tenor . He sang in several London seasons (1754–6, 1764–6), first appearing as Danaus in Ipermestra by Hasse and Lampugnani; he earned praise – in Burney’s words – for singing with ‘much taste and feeling’, distinguished himself in J. C. Bach’s aria ‘Non sò d’onde viene’, originally written for Raaff, and appears to have been regarded as a conscientious artist. He went on singing in leading Italian opera houses (Turin, Milan and Rome) until at least ...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b Stourton, Wilts., bap. Jan 13, 1767; d Edinburgh, July 16, 1799). English mezzo-soprano. She moved to Dublin with her father, a cathedral singer, and sang in concerts there before her marriage. In December 1791 her husband was in a debtors’ prison and she went first to London, where despite Mrs Billington’s help she failed to find engagements, and then to Bath. Rauzzini taught her and promoted her career so that she was able to raise the money to free her husband. She made a successful London début in Shield’s Hartford Bridge (1792) and sang at Covent Garden for six seasons. She was praised for her taste, for the fullness of her middle and lower voice and the sweetness of her upper notes. In summer 1797 she sang opposite Incledon at the Crow Street Theatre, Dublin, and in 1798 took up an engagement at Edinburgh, where she died after a protracted illness....

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Dennis Libby

(fl 1756–77). Italian tenor. He made his opera seria début at Bologna in May 1756, but did not then begin a sustained career. During the period 1760–68 he was with Jommelli’s company at Stuttgart (except for 1762, when he sang in Florence, Venice and Genoa). From autumn 1769...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(fl 1763–6). Italian soprano. She sang with the Italian opera company in London between 1763 and 1765 and in concerts, including the first London appearance of the young Mozarts. She was in J. C. Bach’s Orione and Adriano in Siria and took the lead in two English operas at Drury Lane in ...

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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