1-20 of 62 results  for:

  • Late 18th c./Classical (1750-1800) x
  • Composer or Arranger x
Clear all

Article

Alina Nowak-Romanowicz

[Gioacchino ]

(b Pesaro, Nov 30, 1748; d Warsaw, March 27, 1812). Polish composer of Italian birth . He was known as an aria composer and ‘young virtuoso’ in 1777. Later he was conductor at Prince Karol Radziwiłł’s residence at Nieśwież, and from 1782 maître de chapelle at King Stanisław August Poniatowski’s court in Warsaw. In 1796 he went to Rome, and in autumn 1803 was back in Poland, where he spent the rest of his life. He is principally known for his opera Don Juan albo Ukarany libertyn (‘Don Juan, or The Rake Punished’), believed to have been performed in Warsaw with an Italian text by G. Bertati in 1780–81; in 1783 it was performed in Polish, and it was later twice revised by Albertini for performances in 1790 and 1803.

Article

[Juan Pedro, Giovanni Pietro, Carlos Francisco]

(b Lisbon, June 24, 1744; d Madrid, c 1817). Portuguese tenor and composer active in Spain. He sang in Lisbon, Braga, Santiago de Compostela and Mondeñedo (after October 1772) and as maestro de capilla in Lugo (after July 1775) and Astorga (after March 1783). He then went to Madrid as maestro de música at the Real Capilla.

Most of his compositions are liturgical, but some secular works have survived, including two arias for soprano and orchestra, ‘Mi sento il cor trafiggere’ and ‘Quegl’ occhietti si fur’, which may be fragments of an opera.

On 15 August 1774 his opera buffa Il matrimonio per concorso was first performed at Mondoñedo. The libretto was by Gaetano Martinelli, a poet at the Portuguese court and the author of several other librettos. The score is lost but programmes have survived, with text in Italian and Spanish.

X. M. Carreira...

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

(bc1755; dc1829). Italian impresario and librettist. His family was from Vicenza. Though trained as a lawyer, he chose instead to become an actor like his parents, and joined first Pietro Rossi’s company in Venice and then, around 1777, the Compagnia Nazionale Toscana in Florence, directed by Giovanni Roffi. His first tragedy, Le glorie della religione di Malta, had success in many Italian theatres. He succeeded Roffi as impresario of the Teatro del Cocomero in 1785 and served until 1795, visiting Milan for a season in 1792.

Andolfati’s greatest importance lies in his cultivation of Florentine poets and composers for the Cocomero’s musical repertory. His contract there required him to translate French farces into Italian; in addition to the librettos listed below that are almost certainly his work, he probably wrote the otherwise anonymous librettos for most of the farse and some of the intermezzos given at the theatre during his tenure....

Article

Michaela Freemanová and Geoffrey Chew

(fl 1760–1806). Czech composer. He was a teacher in Nemyčeves near Jičín (1760–92), then in Kopidlno. Most of his work output consists of church music, but he also wrote the Opera de rebellione boëmica rusticorum, which deals with the great peasant rebellion in East Bohemia of 1775. The work seems to have gained popularity in its time: it appears in several musical collections, and also as a spoken drama. The opera is composed in a late Baroque idiom, with Rococo features; to highlight the contrast between the lives of peasants and the nobility, it uses elements of folk and art music.

J. Němeček: Lidové zpěvohry a písně z doby roboty [Folk Singspiels and songs from the time of serfdom] (Prague, 1954)T. Volek: ‘První české zpěvohry’ [The first Czech Singspiels], Dějiny českého divadla [History of Czech theatre], vol.1: Od počátku do sklonku osmnáctého století [From the Beginning to the end of the 18th century], ed. ...

Article

Thomas Bauman

(b Lyck, East Prussia, June 8, 1756; d Königsberg, March 27, 1823). German librettist. At 21, after studying law at Königsberg, he went blind. Thereafter he taught history at an artillery academy and wrote novels, several works on Prussian history and musical texts for local use. Three of his librettos were published in ...

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

Marita P. McClymonds

(b Salò, Feb 26, 1752; d 1797 or later). Italian librettist . He joined those who were producing innovatory opera seria librettos for Venetian theatres in the 1790s. His handful of works represents a wide range of subject matter including plots taking their inspiration from earlier librettos (Seleuco, rè di Siria and Merope) and plots with exotic settings (Gl’indiani and Zaira). His Bianca de’ Rossi is an early example of an opera based on contemporary subject matter dealing with ordinary citizens, rather than historical figures or the nobility. Both Zaira and Bianca die tragically – Zaira at the hands of her lover, who then kills himself, and Bianca in the tomb of her husband, where she has buried herself. Such tragedies mark the end of a tradition more than a century old that proscribed unhappy endings and death on stage.

Botturini’s librettos contain multiple choruses, ensembles, scene-complexes and even dance (...

Article

Thomas Bauman

(b Stettin [now Szczecin], Nov 15, 1735; d Berlin, Nov 10, 1799). German playwright. He fled his family business at the age of 18 and eventually joined an itinerant theatrical company. He was an indifferent actor but won considerable popularity as a playwright. In May 1772 he and his actress wife Charlotte, then both with the Seyler company in Weimar, saw the first German melodrama, Anton Schweitzer’s setting (now lost) of Rousseau’s Pygmalion, in translation. Using H. W. von Gerstenberg’s tragic cantata Ariadne auf Naxos as a model, Brandes prepared a dramatic scene in the new genre to display Charlotte’s abilities. Schweitzer temporized in setting Brandes’s text, and after the troupe moved to Gotha it was given to the court Kapellmeister there, Georg Benda. The première of Ariadne auf Naxos on 27 January 1775 was a resounding success, mainly because of Benda’s music and Charlotte’s acting. Brandes wrote a second melodrama for his wife while he was theatrical director at Dresden in ...

Article

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b London, Feb 4, 1723; d London, Aug 4, 1792). English dramatist . ‘Gentleman Johnny’ Burgoyne, the English general forced to surrender to the Americans at Saratoga (1777), was the librettist of William Jackson’s only successful opera, The Lord of the Manor (1780), in the preface to which he advocated English ‘musical comedy’. Garrick’s staging of his first dramatic piece, ...

Article

Marita P. McClymonds

(b Naples, 1760; d after 1788). Italian composer. He set the second of only two librettos by Marco Coltellini ever performed in Milan, Antigona (La Scala, 26 December 1788). The opera’s shocking introductory scene, which freely combines pantomime, dance, chorus and recitative, focusses on a brutal battle to the death between two brothers whose bodies lie on stage during the coronation that follows. Choruses, which were just beginning to appear regularly in opera during the latter years of the decade, figure prominently in several other scenes, either alone or in combination with ensemble....

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

(b Tuscany, c1730; d after 1792). Italian librettist and stage director. He was one of two poets at the Teatro del Cocomero in Florence around 1755, a position requiring him to alter and add to librettos by other authors, notably Goldoni. His I matrimoni in maschera (1763) and L’amore industrioso (1765), comic operas composed by G. M. Rutini, established the reputations of both men in Italy and can be regarded as Casorri’s masterpieces. He was an active translator into Italian of French farces, the most successful being Il disertore, originally by L. S. Mercier and set to music by Giuseppe Gazzaniga, which probably owed its popularity to its unswerving morality and optimism. Casorri wrote two opera seria librettos, Attalo, re di Bitinia (1780) and Mesenzio, re d’Etruria, the latter set by the young Cherubini in 1782; both are solemn and noble, though conventional. In the 1790s Casorri directed a Tuscan prose company which performed in the Palla a Corda and the Piazza Vecchia theatres. His principal composer there was Neri Bondi; Casorri wrote and translated intermezzos and farces for the company to perform....

Article

Richard Taruskin

[née Sophie Auguste Fredericke von Anhalt-Zerbst]

(b Stettin [now Szczecin], 21 April/May 2, 1729; d Tsarskoye Selo, 6/Nov 17, 1796). Empress of Russia. She acceded in 1762 following a palace coup against her husband Peter III, and became known as ‘Catherine the Great’. Continuing the policy of her predecessors, the empresses Anna (reigned 1730–40) and Elizabeth (1741–61), she maintained a court opera theatre staffed by Italians, personally patronizing Cimarosa, Paisiello, Galuppi and Sarti, as well as her special favourite, the italianized Spaniard Martín y Soler. She also patronized comic opera in the vernacular and encouraged native talent to apply itself to this genre. Among the talents she nurtured was her own very modest one as a dramatist, which she exercised, as she put it to a friend, for the sake of relaxation and distraction from affairs of state. With the assistance of two literary secretaries, Ivan Yelagin and Alexander Khrapovitsky, she wrote three volumes of Russian plays and a fourth in French....

Article

Patricia Lewy Gidwitz

(b Brescia, Dec 1712; d Brescia, Aug 1785). Italian librettist. After a brief military career Chiari settled in Venice in 1746, where he wrote comedies, romanze and polemics under the Arcadian name of Egerindo Criptonide. In 1749 he joined the S Samuele theatre where he wrote for the Imer-Casali company of commedia dell’arte players; in 1753 he took a similar post at the S Angelo, which Goldoni had recently abandoned for the competing theatre, the S Luca. Chiari’s blatant parodies of Goldoni aroused fury, and the literary war between the two marked the apogee of Chiari’s fame. In summer 1754 Chiari went to Modena as court poet to Francesco III. A return to the Venetian stage in 1760 was not a success, and it was at this point that he took to writing opera librettos, usually for Galuppi and Traetta. His most popular included Il marchese villano, set by Galuppi and later by Paisiello, Piccinni, Nasolini and others under a variety of titles, and ...

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

Marita P. McClymonds

( fl Naples, 1790s). Italian poet . His principal claim to fame is an updated version of Ines de Castro, which Cosimo Giotti had written for Florence with music by Gaetano Andreozzi in 1783. In his rewritten version of 1794 De Santis provided Francesco Bianchi with multiple ensembles – an introductory quintet, several duets, and two ensemble finales (a trio and a sextet) – newly fashionable in ...

Article

Thomas Bauman

(fl 1798–1800). Italian librettist. Virtually nothing is known about him apart from his librettos for comic operas by Jan Josef Rösler in Prague and Paer and Salieri in Vienna. His libretto Angiolina (1800) carries the remark, ‘The poetry is in great part by Sig. Carlo Prospero Defranceschi, Candidate in Jurisprudence’. Salieri’s setting of the libretto was produced a year later in London, with Defranceschi’s text much altered by Da Ponte.

Defranceschi’s alterations to Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor for Salieri’s Falstaff of 1799 reveal a poetic-dramatic hand of considerable skill, able to reconcile a rambling Elizabethan comedy with the conventions of Viennese opera buffa. Within the two-act plan he develops sharp contrasts among the five principals (Falstaff and the two married couples), which are turned to account in the musical variety inspired from Salieri and in the lively ensembles and finales.

Article

Patricia Lewy Gidwitz

(Rossi )

( fl late 18th century). Italian librettist . He was the house poet of the Teatro Nuovo in Naples, his surviving librettos (which bear his signature or the stamp G.M.D.) belonging to the period 1786–98. His association with Cimarosa (for whom he wrote over two-thirds of his extant texts) established him as a leading librettist of the period. His other major association was with the Neapolitan Giacomo Tritto. Several of his librettos achieved considerable success: Il credulo and Le trame deluse, both set by Cimarosa in 1786, were performed in major Italian centres, though the success of the latter must be attributed to the music if we are to believe Count Zinzendorf, who was unsparing in his treatment of Diodati’s contribution. On the other hand, Goethe so admired L’impresario in angustie that he translated it into German and arranged both text and music for performance (with musical additions of his own) in Weimar in ...

Article

Jack Sage

[Duran, José ]

(b ? Barcelona; d ?Barcelona, after 1791). Catalan composer . He was music master to the Marquéz de los Vélez from about 1755 and probably also maestro de capilla of Barcelona Cathedral. He studied in Naples, and possibly became a maestro di cappella there. His unashamed preference for Italian styles over Catalan or Spanish in his operas and church music precipitated a celebrated polemic about Spanish traditions, notably with the maestro de capilla of Toledo Cathedral, Jaime Casellas. In 1760 in Barcelona he gave the first performance of his opera Antígona, followed in 1762 by Temístocles, both to librettos (now in E-Bbc ) by Metastasio.

LaborD E. Cotarelo y Mori: Orígenes y establecimiento de la Ópera en España hasta 1800 (Madrid, 1917), 233, 240–41 J. Subirá: La Ópera en los teatros de Barcelona, 1 (Barcelona, 1946), 30, 37 A. Martín Moreno: Historia de la muśsica española, iv: Siglo XVIII (Madrid, 1985), 94–5, 155–6, 372, 429...

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

Dale E. Monson

[Ageo Liteo ]

(b ?Venice; dc 1780). Italian librettist . Son of Baldassare Galuppi, he is mentioned only in the composer’s will (16 June 1780) where he is named as recently deceased. For a brief period in the 1760s he was active in Venice, writing the librettos for two of Baldassare’s most successful operas, ...