Bertelli, Francesca, Italian contralto; d. Bologna, Jan. 9, 1767. She sang in Bologna in 1728, then was engaged by Handel in 1729 for his Royal Academy of Music operatic performances in London at the King’s Theatre. In 1733 she left Handel’s company to join his rival’s establishment, the Opera of the Nobility. In 1736–37 she was again a member of Handel’s company, after which she returned to Italy and soon retired. She was noted for her performances of male roles in lieu of castrati.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire