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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 19 Ago 2016 20:26 
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Mykola Vitaliyovych Lysenko (1842-1912) Lysenko was born in Hrynky, Kremenchuk county, Poltava Governorate, Ukraine, the son of Vitaliy Romanovych Lysenko. From childhood he became very interested in the folksongs of Ukrainian peasants and by the poetry of Taras Shevchenko. When Shevchenko's body was brought to Ukraine after his death in 1861, Lysenko was a pallbearer. During his time at Kiev University, Lysenko collected and arranged Ukrainian folksongs, which were published in seven volumes. One of his principal sources was the kobzar Ostap Veresai (after whom Lysenko later named his son). Lysenko was initially a student of Biology at the Kharkiv University, studying music privately. On a scholarship which he won from the Russian Music Society he pursued further professional music studies at the Leipzig Conservatory.

It is there that he understood the importance of collecting, developing and creating Ukrainian music rather than duplicating the work of Western classical composers. On his return to Kiev he continued to create Ukrainian themed compositions. His Ukrainophilic approach to composition was not supported by the Russian Imperial Music Society which promoted a Great Russian cultural presence in Ukraine. As a result Lysenko severed his relationship with them, never to compose any music set to the Russian language, nor allow any translations of his works into the Russian language. The Ems Ukaz, which banned use of Ukrainian language in print, was one of the obstacles for Lysenko; he had to publish some of his scores abroad, while performances of his music had to be authorized by the imperial censor.

In order to improve his orchestration and composition skills the young Lysenko traveled to St. Petersburg where he took orchestration lessons from Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov in the mid-1870s, but his fervent Ukrainian national position and disdain for Great Russian autocracy impeded his career. He supported the 1905 revolution and was in jail briefly in 1907. In 1908, he was the head of the Ukrainian Club, an association of Ukrainian national public figures in Kiev. For his opera libretti Lysenko insisted on using only the Ukrainian language. Tchaikovsky was impressed by Lysenko's Taras Bulba and wanted to stage the work in Moscow, but Lysenko's insistence on it being performed in the Ukrainian language, not Russian, prevented the performance from taking place in Moscow. In his later years, Lysenko raised funds to open a Ukrainian School of Music. His death was widely mourned throughout Ukraine. Lysenko's daughter Mariana followed her father's footsteps as a pianist, and his son Ostap also taught music in Kiev.

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Taras Bulba, opera en cuatro actos (1880-1890). Fragmento.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 26 Ago 2016 22:46 
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Jacopo Peri (1561-1633) Nació probablemente en Roma y era apodado "lo Zazzerino" (el melenudo) por su cabello rubio. Viajó a Florencia siendo niño, donde estudió con Cristofano Malvezzi, y fue a trabajar en varias iglesias locales, tanto como organista como cantante. En 1588 comenzó a trabajar en la Corte de los Médicis, primero como tenor, en 1591 como organista y sopranista bajo el gran duque Fernando I de Médicis y luego bajo Cosme II de Médicis como "director principal de música y de los músicos". Sus primeras obras fueron trabajos de música incidental para el teatro y madrigales. En los años 1590, Peri se asoció con Jacopo Corsi, el más importante patrón de la música en Florencia. Ellos creían que el arte contemporáneo era inferior al de la Grecia clásica y al arte romano, y decidieron intentar recrear el antiguo teatro griego, tal como lo comprendían. Su obra se sumó a la de la Camerata Florentina de la década previa, que había producido los primeros experimentos en monodia, el estilo de la canción solista con acompañamiento de un bajo continuo que eventualmente se desarrolló en el recitativo y el aria. Peri y Corsi solicitaron al poeta Ottavio Rinuccini escribir un texto, y el resultado, Dafne, que para nosotros hoy está lejos de lo que los griegos hicieron, es considerada como la primera obra de un nuevo género, la ópera. Esta ópera fue estrenada en 1597 en el Palazzo Corsi de Florencia. La música de esta obra se ha perdido.

Los resultados movieron a Rinuccini y Peri a trabajar en una nueva ópera: Euridice. Fue estrenada el 6 de octubre de 1600 y, a diferencia de Dafne, ha sobrevivido hasta el presente. En 1601, Peri partió de Florencia para establecerse en Ferrara, probando mejor fortuna en otros proyectos. En 1608 escribió los recitativos para la producción en Mantua de Arianna, con texto de Rinuccini y arias de Claudio Monteverdi. Produjo varias óperas más - Tetide de Cini y Adone de Cicognini -, que nunca se representaron. También escribió otras obras para varios entretenimientos cortesanos. Ninguna de sus obras son interpretadas hoy día, y si bien en el tiempo de su muerte su estilo operático fue considerado pasado de moda, cuando se le compara con los jóvenes compositores reformistas de entonces, como Claudio Monteverdi, la influencia de Peri en aquellos compositores posteriores es, sin embargo, inmensa.

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L'Euridice (1600) fábula dramática con un prólogo y seis escenas. Comienzo.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 02 Sep 2016 20:12 
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Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970) He was born in Bliesheim (now part of Erftstadt) near Cologne. He grew up in a rural Catholic community in western Germany. His father worked for the German Reichsbahn (Imperial Railway) and was also a farmer. In 1929, Zimmermann began attending a private Catholic school, where he had his first real encounter with music. After the National Socialists (or Nazis) closed all private schools, he switched to a public Catholic school in Cologne where, in 1937, he received his Abitur, the German equivalent of a high school diploma. In the same year, he fulfilled his duty for the Reichsarbeitsdienst and spent the 1937/1938 winter semester studying pedagogy at the Hochschule für Lehrerausbildung (lit. University for Teacher Training) in Bonn.

He began studying Music Education, Musicology and Composition in the winter of 1938 at the University for Music in Cologne. In 1940, he was drafted in the Wehrmacht (the German Army) but was released in 1942 due to a severe skin illness. After he returned to his studies, he didn't receive a degree until 1947 due to the ending of the war. However, he was already busy as a free-lance composer in 1946, predominantly for radio. From 1948 to 1950, he was a participant in the Kranichsteiner/Darmstädter Ferienkursen für Neue Musik (lit. Kranichstein/Darmstadt Vacation Course for New Music) where he studied under René Leibowitz and Wolfgang Fortner, among others.

In 1957, he received a scholarship to spend time at the German Academy Villa Massimo in Rome. He also assumed the position of Professor of Composition (from Frank Martin) as well as Film and Broadcast Music at the Cologne Music University. In the 60s, he received more attention and success as a composer (including a second scholarship to the Villa Massimo in 1963 and a fellowship in the Berlin Academy of the Arts), especially after his opera Die Soldaten finally premiered in 1965. The opera had previously not been performed due to the enormous number of people required and the musical difficulty—the Cologne Opera had considered it "unspielbar" (not performable). The composer's depressive tendencies increased to a more physical level, compounded by a quickly deteriorating eye problem. On 10 August 1970, Zimmermann committed suicide at his home in Königsdorf near Cologne – just five days after completing the score of his last composition, Ich wandte mich um und sah alles Unrecht das geschah unter der Sonne. At the time, he was preparing another opera, Medea, after Hans Henny Jahnn.

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Die Soldaten, ópera en cuatro actos (1965). Fragmento.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 09 Sep 2016 19:40 
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Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (1739-1799) Dittersdorf was born in the Laimgrube (now Mariahilf) district of Vienna, Austria, as August Carl Ditters. His father was a military tailor in the Austrian Imperial Army of Charles VI, for a number of German-speaking regiments. After retiring honorably from his military obligation, he was provided with royal letters of reference and a sinecure with the Imperial Theatre. In 1745, the six-year-old August Carl was introduced to the violin and his father's moderate financial position allowed him not only a good general education at a Jesuit school, but private tutelage in music, violin, French and religion. After leaving his first teacher, Carl studied violin with J. Ziegler, who by 1750, through his influence, secured his pupil's appointment as a violinist in the orchestra of the Benedictine church on the Freyung.

Prince Joseph of Saxe-Hildburghausen soon noticed young Ditters, and on 1 March 1751 hired him for his court orchestra. Under princely auspices he studied violin with Francesco Trani who, impressed with the ability of his pupil in composition, commended him to Giuseppe Bonno who instructed him in Fuxian counterpoint and free composition. After a few years Prince Joseph disbanded the orchestra, since he had to leave Vienna to assume the regency in Hildburghausen, and the Austrian Empress hired Dittersdorf for her own orchestra through Count Durazzo, Theatre Director at the Imperial Court. In 1761 he was engaged as violinist in the Imperial Theatre orchestra, and in 1762 its conductor. It was during this period that he became acquainted with Christoph Willibald Gluck, who had just achieved greatness as an opera composer with the Vienna première of his Orfeo ed Euridice. In 1763 he traveled to Bologna with Gluck to see the opera Il trionfo di Clelia: an Italian tour that was to leave the greatest impression on his future work as a composer from both the Austrian Gluck and the contemporary Italian musical scene. In 1764 he traveled to Paris, a trip with only scarce and uncertain documentation. Back in Vienna in 1764, his contract with Count Durazzo expired that winter, but he met the great Joseph Haydn and became one of his closest friends.

In 1764, Ditters assumed the post of Kapellmeister at the court of Ádám Patachich, Hungarian nobleman and Bishop of Nagyvárad (Oradea, Romania). The following year he was introduced to Philipp Gotthard von Schaffgotsch, the Prince-Bishop of Breslau, who was in the process of creating a cultural center around his court based at Château Jánský vrch (Johannesberg) in Javorník (today part of the Czech Republic). He accepted the post of Hofkomponist (court composer) in 1771, and it was during his tenure at Johannesberg that most of his creative output was produced. Over the next twenty years he wrote symphonies, string quartets and other chamber music, and opere buffe. In 1773 the prince-bishop appointed him Amtshauptmann of nearby Jeseník (Freiwaldau), one of several measures to help entice the cosmopolitan composer to remain at isolated Johannesberg. Since this new post required a noble title, Ditters was sent to Vienna and given the noble title of von Dittersdorf. His full surname thus became "Ditters von Dittersdorf", but he is usually referred to simply as "Dittersdorf".

Johann Baptist Vanhal was perhaps Dittersdorf's most eminent pupil. About 1785, Haydn, Dittersdorf, Mozart and Vanhal played string quartets together, Dittersdorf taking first violin, Haydn second violin, Mozart viola and Vanhal cello. Eminent Irish tenor Michael Kelly, for whom Mozart created the lyric tenor roles of Don Ottavio and Ferrando in his great da Ponte operas Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte, was of the opinion that although they played well their performance as a whole was not outstanding; but the image of four of the greatest composers of their time joining in common music-making remains an unforgettable vignette of the Classical era (comprising the second half of the eighteenth century). In 1794, after twenty-four years at Johannesberg, Dittersdorf, after a serious clash with von Schaffgotsch, was expelled from his palace. Sometime the following year, he was invited by Baron Ignaz von Stillfried to live in his spare castle known as Červená Lhota in southern Bohemia. His final decade was occupied with overseeing operatic productions in addition to compiling and editing his own music for publication. He died at Nový Dvůr (Neuhof, or "New Court") where Château Červená Lhota stood, and was buried in the town of Deštná. He finished his autobiography just three days before his death.

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Doktor und Apotheker, ópera cómica en dos actos (1786). Aria del acto segundo, So verfährt man mit Soldaten. Duo del acto segundo, Sie sind ein Scharlatan. Ein Ignorant.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 16 Sep 2016 19:42 
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Lee Henry Hoiby (1926-2011) Hoiby was born in Madison, Wisconsin. A child prodigy, he began playing the piano at the age of 5. He studied at the University of Wisconsin under notable pianists Gunnar Johansen and Egon Petri. He then became a pupil of Darius Milhaud at Mills College. Hoiby became influenced by a variety of composers, particularly personalities in the twentieth century avant garde, including the Pro Arte String Quartet led by Rudolf Kolisch, brother-in-law of Arnold Schoenberg. During his youth, Hoiby played with Harry Partch's Dadaist ensembles. Following his studies at Mills College, he entered the Curtis Institute of Music where he was mentored in music composition by Gian Carlo Menotti, who introduced Hoiby to opera, and involved him in the Broadway productions of The Consul and The Saint of Bleecker Street. Though at first he intended to pursue a career as a concert pianist, he eventually became more interested in composing.

Hoiby's first opera, The Scarf, a chamber opera in one act, which was produced by Menotti and premiered in 1957, was recognized by TIME and the Italian press as the hit of the first Spoleto Festival. His next opera, Natalia Petrovna (New York City Opera, 1964), now known in its revised version as A Month in the Country, based on a play by Ivan Turgenev, was also praised by critics. Hoiby's setting of Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke is perhaps his most famous work. Its libretto is by Lanford Wilson, and it was premiered in 1971 by St Paul Opera, Minnesota, under the conductor Igor Buketoff. Among Hoiby's other operatic works are the one-act opera buffa Something New for the Zoo (1979), the musical monologue The Italian Lesson (1981, text by Ruth Draper) which was produced off-Broadway in 1989 with Jean Stapleton, The Tempest (1986), and a one-act chamber opera, This Is the Rill Speaking (1992), text by Lanford Wilson. He contributed the song, “The Darkling Thrush,” with text by Thomas Hardy, to a 2006 multimedia opera, Darkling. Elements of this song were used as source material for the opera’s remaining solo and ensemble music, written by composer Stefan Weisman. Hoiby's last opera was a setting of Romeo and Juliet (2004), which awaits its world premiere.

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Summer and Smoke, ópera en dos actos (1968). Fragmento.

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The Tempest, ópera en tres actos (1986). Fragmento.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 23 Sep 2016 20:47 
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Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1700/01-1775) Sammartini was the seventh of eight children of Alexis Saint-Martin, a French oboist who emigrated to Italy, and Girolama de Federici. He was probably born in Milan, the city in which he lived all his life. Since in his death certificate he is said to have been 74, he was presumably born in 1700 or the first two weeks of 1701. His earliest musical instruction probably came from his father. In 1717 Giuseppe and G.B. Sammartini were listed as oboists at S Celso, Milan, and in 1720 the ‘Sammartini brothers’ were listed as oboists in the orchestra of the Regio Ducal Teatro there. Sammartini's first known composition is an aria (lost) for the oratorio La calunnia delusa, performed in 1724, to which Giuseppe and other composers also contributed. His first set of vocal works which is known (also lost) dates from 1725: five cantatas for the Fridays in Lent written for the Congregazione del SS Entierro, which met in the Jesuit church of S Fedele. Sammartini became maestro di cappella of the Congregazione in 1728 and continued in that post for most of his life; his last Lenten cantatas are dated 1773.

By 1726 Sammartini was called ‘very famous’ in his contract as substitute maestro di cappella of S Ambrogio (the full appointment came in 1728). Also in 1726 he composed a Christmas oratorio for S Fedele entitled Gesù bambino adorato dalli pastori. J.J. Quantz, who visited Milan that year, wrote grudgingly of the music of Sammartini and Francesco Fiorino as ‘not bad’, though he noted that they were the leading church composers of the city. In his maturity Sammartini became the most active church composer in Milan. The almanac Milano sacro for 1761–75 lists him as the maestro di cappella of eight churches, while the almanac La galleria delle stelle for 1775 lists 11; these included the ducal chapel S Gottardo, whose director he became in 1768 (there is no evidence to support Burney's statement that he was maestro di cappella of the convent of S Maria Maddalena). An excellent organist, Sammartini was praised by Burney as having ‘a way peculiar to himself of touching that instrument, which is truly masterly and pleasing’.

The 1730s saw a notable stream of symphonies, concertos, sonatas and dramatic works from Sammartini's pen, and recognition of his music outside Italy. His first opera, Memet, was performed in Lodi in 1732, and possibly in Vienna the same year. Milan heard his second opera, L'ambizione superata dalla virtù, in the Regio Ducal Teatro in 1734, with such noted singers as Vittoria Tesi and the castrato Angelo Maria Monticelli. By the early 1730s he had become the leading figure in the earliest symphonic school in Europe, which included such composers from Milan and nearby as Brioschi, Galimberti, Giulini, Lampugnani and Chiesa. From 1733 there are records of Sammartini's acting as judge in competitions for positions at the cathedral and other churches; in 1762 he sat on one such jury with Padre Martini. Apart from his teaching at the Collegio de'Nobili, where he was appointed in 1730, only two of his no doubt numerous pupils can be identified with any certainty: Count Giorgio Giulini (1716–80), a popular Milanese dilettante composer of symphonies, and Christoph Willibald Gluck, who probably studied with Sammartini from 1737 to 1741. Many of Gluck's early works were influenced by Sammartini, and Gluck borrowed movements from two Sammartini symphonies for his operas Le nozze d'Ercole e d'Ebe (1747) and La contesa de' numi (1749). Sammartini's last opera, L'Agrippina, moglie di Tiberio, was performed in the Regio Ducal Teatro in 1743, with Carestini as Tiberius.

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Memet, tragedia en tres actos (1732). Aria del acto primero Venite, o furie. Aria del acto tercero Si viva, si mora.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 30 Sep 2016 20:13 
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Viktor (or Victor) Ernst Nessler (1841-1890) He was born in Baldenheim near Sélestat, Alsace. At Strasbourg he began his university career with the study of theology, but he concluded it with the production of a light opera entitled Fleurette (1864). To complete his knowledge of music Nessler went to Leipzig to study with Moritz Hauptmann. His musically conservative, mock-Gothic, fairy-tale operas, notably Der Rattenfänger von Hameln (The Pied Piper of Hamelin) (1879) and Der Trompeter von Säckingen (1884), based on also famous poem by Joseph Viktor von Scheffel, were very popular in the 19th century. The great conductor Artur Nikisch composed an orchestral arrangement of material from Der Trompeter von Säckingen. Besides a number of other operas, Nessler wrote many songs and choral works; but it is with the Trompeter von Säckingen that his name is associated.

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Der Trompeter von Säckingen, ópera en tres actos (1884). Fragmento.

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Última edición por Zelenka el 25 Oct 2016 8:46, editado 1 vez en total

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 07 Oct 2016 21:34 
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Henri Tomasi (1901-1971) Tomasi was born in a working-class neighborhood of Marseille, France. His father Xavier Tomasi and mother Josephine Vincensi were originally from La Casinca, Corsica. At the age of five, the family moved to Mazarques, France where Xavier Tomasi worked as a postal worker and enrolled his son in music theory lessons. At the age of seven, Tomasi entered the Conservatoire de Musique de Marseille. Pressured by his father, he played for upper-class families, where he felt "humiliated to be on show like a trained animal." In 1913, the family moved back to Marseille. Tomasi had dreams of becoming a sailor and skipped many of his music classes. During the summer, he stayed with his grandmother in Corsica and learned traditional Corsican songs. In 1916, he won first prize in harmony, along with his friend Zino Francescatti, the celebrated violinist. World War I delayed his entrance into the Paris Conservatoire, so he played piano in Marseille to earn money. He performed in diverse venues such as upscale hotels, restaurants, brothels, and movie houses. His gift for composition was developed during this time as he improvised at the keyboard. The early Charlie Chaplin films also intrigued him.

In 1921, he commenced his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris with a scholarship from Marseille and a stipend from a lawyer, Maitre Levy Oulman. He still performed at cafes and in the cinemas to earn money. His friend Maurice Franck described Tomasi as a hard worker: "He showed up with a fugue a week, he was indefatigable - an inveterate workaholic." In 1925, his first piece, a wind quintet called 'Variations sur un Theme Corse', won the Prix Halphen. His teachers at the Paris Conservatoire included Gaubert, Vincent d'Indy, Georges Caussade, and Paul Vidal. In 1927, he won the second Grand Prix de Rome for his cantata, 'Coriolan', and a First Prize for Orchestral Conducting, both awarded unanimously. That same year he met his future wife, Odette Camp, at the Opéra-Comique. They wed in 1929. Tomasi began his career as a conductor for Concerts du Journal.

From 1930 to 1935 Tomasi served as the music director of the Radio Colonial Orchestra in French Indochina, founded by Julien Maigret during the 1931 Colonial Exhibition in Paris. Tomasi became one of the first radio conductors and a pioneer of "radiophonic" music. During the 1930s he was one of the founders of a contemporary music group in Paris entitled "Triton" along with Prokofiev, Milhaud, Honegger, and Poulenc. He spent equal time composing and conducting. He was one of the conductors for studio broadcasts of the Orchestre Radio Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion Francaise. He made his most memorable recording in 1936 with the extraordinary French mezzo soprano Alice Raveau in Gluck's Orfeo, which was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque. In 1939 Tomasi was drafted into the French Army and was named marching-band conductor at the Villefranche sur Mer fort.

In 1940 he was discharged and took up the baton at the Orchestre national de la Radiodiffusion française. As a composer, his orchestral music is important, but above all he was attracted to the theater. In the realm of instrumental music, he preferred composing for wind instruments. He composed concerti for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, horn, and trombone. He also composed concerti for violin and viola. In 1944, his son Claude was born and Tomasi started composing a Requiem dedicated to "the martyrs of the resistance movement and all those who have died for France." Tomasi was disillusioned by the events of World War II and subsequently rejected all faith in God. His Requiem was set aside and was not discovered again and recorded until 1996. In 1946, Tomasi assumed the post of conductor of the Opera de Monte Carlo. He became extremely sought-after as a guest conductor all over Europe. In 1948, he wrote what would become his most popular composition, the Concerto for Trumpet. In 1949 the Concerto for Saxophone was performed by Marcel Mule.

In 1956 he composed the Concerto for Clarinet and the Concerto for Trombone. This same year brought the long-awaited world premiere of his opera Don Juan de Mañara based on a text by poet O. V. de L. Milosc. This opera, "L'Atlantide", and the comic opera "Le Testament di Pere Gaucher" established his reputation as an opera composer. In May 1956 at Bordeaux, his opera Sampiero Corso was premiered, with the Australian tenor Kenneth Neate in the title role. It was repeated at the Holland Festival in June. In 1957, Tomasi stopped conducting because of physical problems, including advancing deafness in his right ear. In 1966 Jean-Pierre Rampal played his Concerto for Flute with the Orchestre des Concerts Classiques in Marseille. His last piece for the theater, "In Praise of Madness (the nuclear era)", is a cross between opera and ballet and contains references to Nazism and napalm. It reflects Tomasi's postwar disillusionment with mankind. During his last period of composition he was motivated by political events and wrote pieces such as the Third World Symphony and Chant pour le Vietnam. In 1969, he held a series of interviews with his son, Claude, called "Autobiography with a Tape Recorder." As his health deteriorated, he began working on an operatic version of Hamlet. He died peacefully in his apartment in Montmartre, Paris. He was buried in his wife's family tomb in Avignon. Later, to celebrate the centennial of his birth, his ashes were moved to the village of his ancestors in Penta di Casinca, Corsica.

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Don Juan de Mañara, drama lírico en cuatro actos y seis escenas (1956). Fragmento.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 14 Oct 2016 20:20 
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Michael William Balfe (1808–1870) He was born in Dublin, where his musical gifts became apparent at an early age. The only instruction he received was from his father, who was a dancing master and violinist. His family moved to Wexford when he was a child. Between 1814 and 1815, Balfe played the violin for his father's dancing-classes, and at the age of seven composed a polacca. In 1817 he appeared as a violinist in public, and in this year composed a ballad, first called Young Fanny and afterwards, when sung in Paul Pry by Madame Vestris, The Lovers' Mistake. In 1823, upon the death of his father, the teenaged Balfe moved to London and was engaged as a violinist in the orchestra of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He eventually became the leader of that orchestra. While there, he studied with C. E. Horn, the organist at St. George's Chapel, Windsor (1786—1840).

As a young man, Balfe pursued a career as an opera singer. He debuted unsuccessfully at Norwich in Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz. In 1825, Count Mazzara took him to Rome for vocal and musical studies and introduced him to Luigi Cherubini. Balfe also pursued composing: in Italy, he wrote his first dramatic work, a ballet, La Perouse. He became a protégée of Rossini's, and at the close of 1827, he appeared as Figaro in The Barber of Seville at the Italian opera in Paris. Balfe soon returned to Italy, where he was based for the next eight years, singing and composing several operas. He met Maria Malibran while singing at the Paris Opera during this period. In 1829 in Bologna, Balfe composed his first cantata for the soprano Giulia Grisi, then 18 years old. She performed it with the tenor Francesco Pedrazzi with much success. Balfe produced his first complete opera, I rivali di se stessi, at Palermo in the carnival season of 1829—1830.

Around 1831, he married Lina Roser (1806–1888), a Hungarian-born singer of Austrian parentage whom he had met at Bergamo. The couple had two sons and two daughters. Balfe wrote another opera Un avvertimento ai gelosi at Pavia, and Enrico Quarto at Milan, where he had been engaged to sing in Rossini's Otello with Malibran at La Scala in 1834. An unpopular attempt at "improving" Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera, Il crociato in Egitto, by interpolated music of his own, compelled Balfe to throw up his engagement at the theatre La Fenice in Venice. Balfe returned to London with his wife and young daughter in May 1835. His initial success took place some months later, with the premiere of The Siege of Rochelle on 29 October 1835 at Drury Lane. Encouraged by his success, he produced The Maid of Artois in 1836; which was followed by more operas in English.

In July 1838, Balfe composed a new opera, Falstaff, for The Italian Opera House, based on The Merry Wives of Windsor, with an Italian libretto by S. Manfredo Maggione. The production starred his friends Luigi Lablache (bass) in the title role, Giulia Grisi (soprano), Giovanni Battista Rubini (tenor), and Antonio Tamburini (baritone). The same four singers had premiered Bellini's, I Puritani at the Italian Opera in Paris in 1835. In 1841, Balfe founded the National Opera at the Lyceum Theatre, but the venture was a failure. The same year, he premiered his opera, Keolanthe. He then moved to Paris, presenting Le puits d’amour (1843) in early 1843, followed by Les quatre fils Aymon (1844) for the Opéra Comique (also popular in German-speaking countries for many years as Die Vier Haimonskinder) and L’etoile de Seville (1845) for the Opéra. Their librettos were written by Eugène Scribe and others.

Meanwhile, in 1843, Balfe returned to London where he produced his most successful work, The Bohemian Girl, on November 27, 1843 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The piece ran for over 100 nights, and productions were soon mounted in New York, Dublin, Philadelphia, Vienna (in German), Sydney, and throughout Europe and elsewhere. In 1854, an Italian adaptation called La Zingara was mounted in Trieste with great success, and it too was performed internationally in both Italian and German. In 1862, a four-act French version, entitled La Bohemienne was produced in France and was again a success. From 1846 to 1852 Balfe was appointed musical director and principal conductor for the Italian Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre. There he first produced several of Verdi's operas for London audiences. He conducted for Jenny Lind at her opera debut and on many occasions thereafter.

In 1851, in anticipation of the Great International Exhibition in London, Balfe composed an innovative cantata, Inno Delle Nazioni, sung by nine female singers, each representing a country. Balfe continued to compose new operas in English and wrote hundreds of songs, such as When other hearts, Come into the garden, Maud and Excelsior (a setting of the poem by Longfellow). In all, Balfe composed 38 operas. He also wrote several cantatas (including Mazeppa in 1862), at least one symphony (1829). His last opera, nearly completed when he died, was The Knight of the Leopard and achieved considerable success in Italian as Il Talismano. Balfe retired in 1864 to Hertfordshire, where he rented a country estate. He died at his home in 1870, aged 62, and was buried at Kensal Green. In 1882 a medallion portrait of him was unveiled in Westminster Abbey.

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Falstaff, ópera en dos actos (1838). Fragmento.

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The Bohemian Girl, ópera en tres actos (1843). Final.

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Satanella, or The Power of Love, ópera romántica en cuatro actos (1858). Fragmento.

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s, I Puritani at the Italian Opera in Paris in 1835. In 1841, Balfe founded the National Opera at the Lyceum Theatre, but the venture was a failure. The same year, he premiered his opera, Keolanthe. He then moved to Paris, presenting Le puits d’amour

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Lauro Rossi (1812-1885) Rossi was born in Macerata. He studied at the Naples Conservatory with Zingarelli, Giovanni Furno and Crescentini, obtaining his diploma in 1829. In 1830 Costanza e Oringaldo, written in collaboration with Pietro Raimondi, gave him entrée to the Teatro S Carlo. Further comedies, given at the Nuovo in 1831 and all well received, brought him to the attention of Donizetti, who recommended him as assistant director of the Teatro Valle, Rome, a post he held until 1833. In 1834 his La casa disabitata, given at La Scala, Milan, so impressed Maria Malibran that she persuaded the impresario Barbaia to commission an opera for her. Unfortunately, she insisted that this work, Amelia, ovvero Otto anni di costanza (1834, Naples), include a pas de deux for herself and the dancer Mathis; but as her many accomplishments did not include ballet dancing, the opera was hissed off the stage. Embittered, it is said, and in spite of the fair success of Leocadia (1835, Milan), Rossi became director of a company touring Mexico, where his next opera, Giovanna Shore, had its première in 1836. When in 1837 the company broke up because of political unrest and the hazards of travel, Rossi set up as an impresario. In June 1840 he was in Milan to engage a company for Havana managed by a colleague with himself as musical director. Among the singers was a young Bohemian soprano, Isabella Obermeyer, who had that year made a highly successful Italian début under the name Ober. The company appeared in New York in September and opened in Havana on 27 October. In 1841 Rossi married Obermeyer, who sang thereafter as Ober-Rossi.

In spring 1842 the company performed in New Orleans, returning then to Havana. In 1843 Rossi and his wife were in Europe to convalesce from yellow fever. He then settled in Milan and resumed his operatic career with a triumphant revival of La casa disabitata, revised as I falsi monetari and known for many years as ‘Rossi’s Barbiere’. In 1846 Rossi’s La figlia di Figaro was given at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna, while in Milan Il domino nero was warmly received in 1849. Now a figure of some consequence, Rossi was appointed director of the Milan Conservatory. During his 20 years there his operatic output diminished considerably as he devoted himself increasingly to academic pursuits. His harmony course, published in 1858, became a standard textbook. Though in no sense a modernist, he pursued a liberal policy and his regime saw the emergence with high honours of Faccio and Boito and the founding of a chair of dramatic poetry. Rossi was among the founders of the Milan Società del Quartetto (1864) and also of the society’s journal, which carried some of Boito’s fieriest attacks on the state of music and literature in Italy. In 1869 he contributed an Agnus Dei to the Messa per Rossini, a composite work intended by Verdi to mark the anniversary of that composer’s death. The death of Mercadante the following year led to Rossi’s nomination as head of the Naples Conservatory; in 1878 he resigned his supreme position to form part of a triumvirate, appointed to carry out the government’s plans for reforming the institution. In 1880 he retired to Cremona.

During his years at Naples Rossi produced a number of instrumental and sacred vocal works, and composed two operas for Turin, La contessa di Mons (1874) and Cleopatra (1876), the first of which enjoyed a succès d’estime. His last opera, Biorn, was written to an English libretto and performed at the Queen’s Theatre, London (1877). A version of Macbeth with the action transferred to Norway and the witches turned into Norns, it failed disastrously; none of the music, described by the critic Joseph Bennett as written at so much per yard, survives in print. As a creative artist Rossi belonged to the generation of minor composers who achieved some individuality within the post-Rossinian tradition, but whose talent was unable to survive the tradition’s collapse. Works like I falsi monetari and Il domino nero show a real invention, combined with a flair for comedy that caused Felice Romani to consider Rossi Donizetti’s successor in opera buffa. Cleopatra and La contessa di Mons, on the other hand, while showing an attempt to keep up with the times, offer little more than the old framework shorn of fioriture and cabalettas and garnished with recherché harmonies, calculated irregularities of phrasing and an occasional excursion into local idioms (La contessa di Mons quotes from the famous Jota aragonesa). Among the later stage works exception should be made of the one-act Il maestro e la cantante (1867), in which Rossi shows a Sullivanesque talent for musical foolery, at one point combining a cabaletta by Bellini in the voice part with one by Donizetti in the orchestra. But Rossi was famous chiefly as an academic, and one of the first in Italy to show a genuine interest in the revival of old music.

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Il domino nero, ópera cómica en tres actos (1849). Fragmento.

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Cleopatra, tragedia lirica en cuatro actos (1876). Fragmento.

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Serguéi Vasilievich Rachmaninov (1873-1943) Nació en Oneg, Rusia. Hijo de una familia de terratenientes, debió su temprana afición musical a su padre y a su abuelo, uno y otro competentes músicos aficionados. A pesar de sus extraordinarias dotes para la interpretación al piano, la composición fue desde el principio el verdadero objetivo del joven Rachmaninov. No obstante, su carrera en este campo estuvo a punto de verse truncada prematuramente por el fracaso del estreno, en 1897, de su Sinfonía No. 1. Este revés sumió al compositor en una profunda crisis creativa, sólo superada a raíz del Concierto para piano No. 2, cuyo éxito supuso para él el reconocimiento mundial.

La revolución soviética puso fin a esta etapa, provocando su salida, junto a su familia, de Rusia. Suiza primero y, a partir de 1935, Estados Unidos, se convirtieron en su nuevo lugar de residencia. Si en su patria había dirigido sus principales esfuerzos a la creación, en su condición de exiliado se vio obligado a dedicarse sobre todo al piano para poder subsistir. La carrera de virtuoso pianista que llevó a cabo desde entonces, junto a la profunda añoranza de su país, fueron dos de las causas que provocaron el notable descenso del número de obras escritas entre 1917 y 1943, el año de su muerte: sólo seis nuevas composiciones vieron la luz en ese lapso, cuando en los años anteriores lo habían hecho casi cuarenta.

Biografías y vidas

Monna Vanna, ópera incompleta (1908). Final de la escena tercera.

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André Bon (*1946) He was born in Lille and studied music and composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. Following his graduation from the Conservatoire, he won the Prix de Rome, and spent two years of further study at the French Academy in Rome. In succeeding years, his work in composition has been supported by several further fellowships and prizes, including the Lili Boulanger Prize (1975), the Hervé Dugardin Prize from SACEM (Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique) (1979), SACEM's Composers Prize (1992), and the Monbinne Prize of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1995). Awards for his operas include the Award for the Best French Creation granted by the French Society of Drama and Music Critics (1987) and the New Talents Award of the French authors’ society, the SACD (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques), in 1988 for Le Rapt de Persephone (The Rape of Persephone); the Samuel Rousseau Prize from the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1993) and the Wolf-Ebermann Prize of the International Theatre Institute in Munich (1996) for his opera La jeune fille au livre (Girl with a Book); and Prix Musique 2009 from SACD Iq & Ox. In addition to his professorships at Argenteuil and the American Conservatory of Fontainebleau, Bon has taught 20th century musicology at the University of Aix-en-Provence and has been a composer-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida and at the Henry Clews Foundation (Château de La Napoule, Cannes).

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Le Rapt de Perséphone, ópera (1986). Fragmento.

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Leevi Antti Madetoja (1887–1947) He was born in Oulu, Finland. He was the son of Antti Madetoja and Anna Hyttinen. His father emigrated to the United States to earn money for the family, but died of tuberculosis by the Mississippi river never having seen his son. Madetoja studied music in Helsinki (1906-1910), Paris (1910-1911), Vienna and Berlin (1911-1912). In 1913, he married the writer Hilja Onerva Lehtinen, who wrote under the pseudonym L. Onerva. His music is strongly influenced by the traditional music of his home region, Ostrobothnia. His three symphonies are based on the legacy of Sibelian and Russian romanticism, Gallic clarity and folk elements.

The sombre Symphony Nº 2 was written during the civil war and could be described as a war symphony. Another fine work written in the same year is the elegant piano piece Kuoleman Puutarha ('Garden of Death'), dedicated to his brother, who had died during the war. His finest works are considered the opera The Ostrobothnians, the Third Symphony, Comedy Overture, the ballet Okon Fuoko, and his songs for male choir. His inspiration slowly dried up, though a fully scored Fourth Symphony was reportedly lost when his briefcase was stolen at a Paris railroad station. He was planning a Violin Concerto at the time he died, aged 60, from exhaustion, overwork and heart disease.

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The Ostrobothnians, ópera en tres actos (1918-1923). Fragmento.

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Juha, ópera en seis cuadros (1934). Fragmento.

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Giacinto Calderara (1729-1803) Nació en Casale Monferrato. Recibe su formación musical en Nápoles. De 1749 y hasta su muerte fue maestro de capilla de la catedral de Asti. Escribió tres óperas, de las cuales Ricimero, con libreto de Francesco Silvani, es la más famosa. Se estrenó en el Teatro Regio di Torino en 1756 bajo la dirección de Giovanni Battista Somis y llegó a las 21 representaciones. En lo que respecta a la música sacra compuso 145 salmos, 21 misas, numerosos Kyrie eleison, Gloria y Credo, motetes y otras obras liturgicas.

Ricimero, ópera (1756). Aria Empia mano, e tu scrivesti!.

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Raffaello de Banfield (1922-2008) Raffaello de Banfield was the son of Austro-Hungarian flying ace Gottfried von Banfield (last surviving Knight of the Military Order of Maria Theresa) and the Countess Maria Tripcovich (originating from Trieste), who acquired a permanent residence in England in 1920. He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He was married to Maria delle Grazie (dei Conti) Brandolini d'Adda (b. 1923) on 27 December 1976. The marriage remained childless; Brandolini d'Adda had three children from her first marriage to Count Leonardo Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga.

Raffaello de Banfield attended the Swiss International "Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz", the "Dante Alighieri" Lyceum in Trieste, the University of Bologna and the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice led by Gian Francesco Malipiero. He studied composition from 1946 to 1949 at the National Conservatory (under the direction of Henri Busser) with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In these years he met Herbert von Karajan with whom he had a lifelong friendship, and also with artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Francis Poulenc. In the United States he belonged to the intellectual circle surrounding the writer and composer Paul Bowles, through which he met Tennessee Williams and Leonard Bernstein. In 1949 through the painter Leonor Fini he was introduced to the choreographer and ballet dancer Roland Petit; out of this grew the ballet Le combat ("The Duel"), which had its first original production in London in 1949. This piece, based upon the Tancred and Clorinda episode in Torquato Tasso's poem Gerusalemme liberata, was performed 39 times at the Vienna State Opera in the choreography of Dimitrije Parlic between 1959 and 1973.

Until 1958 he spent time between Paris and New York and maintained a friendship also with Maria Callas. After years abroad in Italy, France, England and the United States, where he lived for more than ten years, he was from 1972 to 1996 Director of the Giuseppe Verdi Theatre in Trieste and he comprehensively renovated and modernised the Opera House. From 1978 to 1986 he was Director of the "Festival dei due mondi" ("Festival of the two worlds") in Spoleto, Italy. He became famous for his compositions, which were performed worldwide and received countless honours and recognitions, such as the Italian "Grand Ufficiale"; in 1994, through François Mitterrand, he became a Grand Cavalier of the Légion d'Honneur. He died at his home near the so-called "Rive" in Trieste, Italy.

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Una lettera d'amore di Lord Byron, ópera en un acto (1955). Escena cuarta, Ssssh! We set out in the early morning.

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