* DAVID ALLAN, (1749-1832), Scottish history painter, known for portraits and for genre paintings such as Scotch Wedding, which earned him the title ‘the Scottish Hoarth.’
* JANE AUSTEN, (1775-1817), English novelist who observed speech and manners with wit and precision as revealed in her characters. Most famous works: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion.
* JOEL BARLOW , (1754-1812), American poet and diplomat, a member of the literary circle the ‘Connecticut Wits.’ He published an epic entitled The Vision of Columbus in 1787 but is particularly remembered for Hasty Pudding (1796), a celebration of an American dessert.
* FERDINAND LUKAS BAUER, (1760-1826), Austrian painter. As the botanical artist on Matthew Flinders’ second voyage to Australia in 1801, he made more than 1,500 painstakingly detailed drawings of Australian plants and animals. He is commemorated in the name of the Australian plant species Bauera.
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Mozart Contemporary: C.W. Gluck
Christoph Gluck was an older contemporary of Mozart. In August 1782 a special performance of Mozart’s Entfuhrung, which Gluck, an older contemporary of Mozart was anxious to hear, was arranged for. It delighted Gluck immensely and he invited Mozart to dinner.
The following year (1783), Gluck went to Mozart’s concert (March 23) and Mozart improvised variations on a theme from La Rencontre imprevue.
My primary source about Gluck is one by Alfred Einstein simply titled Gluck published by McGraw-Hill. I like this paragraph from the backcover: “It is not easy to say whether Gluck was international or German, Italian, or French, for he was an opera composer,” writes Einstein of this study of the life and music of C. W. Gluck (1714-1787); yet the career of Gluck does epitomize the internationalism prevailing in the arts of his time. Continue reading
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Lorenzo Da Ponte, Italian Librettist of Wolfgang Mozart
Biography of Lorenzo Da Ponte’s life and times, Italian librettist who wrote three of Mozart’s four best operas.
Lorenzo Da Ponte (10 March 1749 – 17 August 1838), born in Céneda, near Treviso, Veneto, Italy, is an important librettist of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was a Venetian opera librettist and poet. He wrote the librettos for 28 operas by 11 composers, including three of Mozart’s greatest operas, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte. He died in New York, U.S.
Da Ponte was Jewish by birth, baptized in 1763 and later became a priest. His freethinking about religious doctrine, and his pursuit of an adulterous relationship, eventually led him to his expulsion from the Venetian state in 1779. Taking up residence in Vienna, perhaps about the time that Mozart also left Salzburg for Vienna, Da Ponte became official poet to the court of Emperor Joseph II. It was in this capacity that he wrote successful librettos for numerous musicians. Continue reading
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Sopranos who sang for Mozart in his time
Prominent divas of Mozart’s day include Catarina Cavalieri, Adriana Ferraresi, and Nancy Storace. They sang in his operas from 1781 when he moved from Salzburg to Vienna where he eventually died in December 1791.
The divas included Catarina Cavalieri (Austrian soprano), Adriana Ferraresi del Bene (Italian soprano), Maria Anna Gottlieb (Austrian singer and actress), Aloysia (née Weber) Lange (German soprano who became his sister-in-law but he initially he fell in love with), Josefa (née Weber) Hofer Mayer (a dramatic soprano, another sister-in-law, the oldest sister of his wife Constanze), Nancy Storace (Italian-born English soprano, sister of composer Stephen Storace), and few other divas.
Mozart collaborated with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte in three of his greatest operas – Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte – and the last one in 1791, Die Zauberflöte, with Emanuel Schikaneder. Continue reading … Mozart’s Diva in his Day.
- The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia, edited by Cliff Eisen and Simon P. Keefe, Cambridge UP, 2007
- The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition, edited by Stanley Sadie, Macmillan, 2000
- The Oxford Companion to Music, edited by Alison Latham, 2002