Venanzio Rauzzini in Britain
Castrato, Composer, and Cultural Leader
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. Les mer
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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.
Forlag: University of Rochester Press
Format: 23 x 15 cm
«Fascinating insights concerning Rauzzini's compositional techniques and the characteristics of the arias he wrote for himself. The musical analysis undertaken in the book, illustrated with a large number of music examples, reveals Rauzzini's accomplished compositional style for the different technical demands of domestic music-making. . . Broaden[s] the common picture of the virtuoso opera singer and demonstrate[s] his expertise in different fields and his acceptance at the heart of Britain's social and cultural life.»
«[Venanzio Rauzzini] was an intrepid survivor in a world that held Italians, and particularly Italian castrati, as highly suspect. Paul Rice has brought together a great deal of biographical detail about Rauzzini's life. He has made it possible for us easily to flesh-out the headline facts that are presented in the Grove and Oxford articles and the work of other authors. [Musical] extracts and analyses...give us an impression of Rauzzini's own evolving vocal abilities and those of his singers. The author seems to have left no stone unturned in seeking out his subject.»
«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.»
«The scope of [Rauzzini's] influence enables Rice to...use Rauzzini's career as a focal point in a broader examination of social and cultural life in Brain, and specifically London and Bath. [Rice] attempts to glean information about the character of his sound, not only from contemporary descriptions but also from the music written for him by Mozart and Sacchini. Rice manages his materials admirably, and there is much here to interest scholars of eighteenth-century music, particularly those interested in concert culture and the practicalities of singers' lives. An engaging portrait of a man who left a considerable legacy across many areas of musical life.»
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
Appendix A: Concert Programs, 1786-1810
Appendix B: Operatic Roles Performed by Venanzio Rauzzini