Venanzio Rauzzini in Britain

Venanzio Rauzzini in Britain

Castrato, Composer, and Cultural Leader

Paul F. Rice

Hardback
$99.00

University of Rochester Press

Overview

Overview

Examines the remarkable career of leading soprano castrato Venanzio Rauzzini (1746-1810), the first castrato to make Britain his home.
Venanzio Rauzzini (1746-1810), the celebrated Italian castrato, is best known for his performance in Mozart's Lucio Silla in 1772, with which Mozart was so pleased that he composed for the singer the famous motet Exsultate Jubilate. In 1774, Rauzzini moved to London where he performed three seasons of serious operas at the King's Theatre. From 1777 until his death in 1810, he was the director of the concert series in Bath, a series that matched the prestige of any that were given in London. In addition, he composed prolifically, writing music for eleven operas.

This book is a study of Rauzzini's remarkable yet often overlooked career in Britain. Paul Rice chronicles Rauzzini's performances at the King's Theatre and examines his leadership of the Bath subscription concerts from 1780-1810, recovering much of the repertory. Rice shows in detail how Rauzzini responded musically to the social and political conditions of his adopted country, and analyzes the castrato's reception, as well as compositional choices, shedding new light on changing musical tastes in late eighteenth-century Britain.

Paul F. Rice is Professor of Musicology at the School of Music, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Details

October 2015
2 black and white, 47 line illustrations
414 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
ISBN: 9781580465328
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BIC AVH, 1DBK, 2AB, 3JF
BISAC MUS028000, MUS050000, HIS015000
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Table of Contents

Preface
Rauzzini's European Career
A Debut Season at the King's Theatre, 1774-75
Two Further Seasons at the King's Theatre, 1775-77
Concerts and Composing, 1774-81
A Continuing Relationship with the King's Theatre
A Life in Bath
The Bath Concerts
Final Curtain
Appendix A: Concert Programs, 1786-1810
Appendix B: Operatic Roles Performed by Venanzio Rauzzini
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

Rauzzini is unique among castratos for having spent more than half his life in England. Rice is the first to tackle in detail the whole of Rauzzini's professional life across the 36 years the singer spent in England. The programmes for these concerts give a fascinating picture of changing tastes. Rauzzini was a canny director, endeavouring to engage the best soloists. Rice provides a generous quantity of music examples that demonstrate Rauzzini's mastery of the galant style. A rich resource. MUSICAL TIMES (Patricia Howard)

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