(b Rome, 1740; d Rome, Jan 1809). Italian composer.
Mango’s father, Antonio, was a Neapolitan impresario who worked in Rome at the Capranica theatre between 1729 and 1740, after which time he returned to Naples with his family. The earliest references to Girolamo Mango himself do not occur until the Roman carnival season of 1758 with the premiere of his intermezzo, La pedina alla moda, at the Pallacorda di Firenze theatre. Mango was very active in Rome, composing music for intermezzos, pasticcios, and oratorios at a number of theatres and churches.
On 26 March 1760 he accepted a post at Eichstätt as Hofkapellmeister for Prince Bishop Raimondo Anton von Strassoldo. The Prince Bishop was the first Italian to serve at Eichstätt, and he brought true Italian culture to Bavaria. Besides his Kapellmeister, he imported a number of professional Italian singers and musicians. Under Strassoldo, Mango transformed musical life at Eichstätt, moving it from a late baroque style into the early classical. He increased the size of the orchestra to include timpani as well as more woodwinds and brass. His symphonies reflect the early classical predilection for the three-movement Neapolitan opera overture form, and his instrumental writing displays a refined use of wind instruments. Concerti also feature transverse flutes and oboes as solo instruments, in keeping with contemporary musical trends and the preferences of his patron. Likewise, musical theatre at Eichstätt was considerably improved under Mango’s direction. The amateur Jesuit dramas presented at court prior to Mango’s tenure gave way to Metastasian opera seria and opera buffa. Mango was in fact required to present a new opera seria every year as part of the New Year’s celebrations at court for Strassoldo and his invited guests. Extant comic arias reveal that Mango’s buffa style favours cheerful, lightly ornamented melodies with simple harmonies and homophonic accompaniment. The high esteem and favour that Mango enjoyed at the Eichstätt court peaked with his receipt of the honorific ‘...