García, Manuel (del Popolo Vicente Rodríguez)

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García, Manuel (del Popolo Vicente Rodríguez)

García, Manuel (del Popolo Vicente Rodríguez), famous Spanish tenor, singing teacher, and composer, father of Manuel Patricio Rodriguez Garcia; b. Seville, Jan. 21, 1775; d. Paris, June 9, 1832. A chorister in the Seville Cathedral at 6, he was taught by Ripa and Almarcha, and at 17 was already well known as a singer, composer, and conductor. After singing in Cadiz, Madrid, and Malaga, he proceeded (1807) to Paris, and sang to enthusiastic audiences at the Theatre- Italien. In 1809, at his benefit, he sang his own monodrama El poeta calculista with extraordinary success. From 1811 to 1816 he was in Italy. On his return to Paris, his disgust at the machinations of Catalani, the manageress of the Theatre-Italien, caused him to break his engagement and go to London (1817), where his triumphs were repeated. From 1819 to 1824 he was again the idol of the Parisians at the Theatre-Italien; sang as 1st tenor at the Royal Opera in London (1824) and in 1825 embarked for N.Y. with his wife, his son Manuel, and his daughter Maria (Malibran), and the distinguished artists Crivelli fils, Angrisani, Barbieri, and de Rosich; from Nov. 29, 1825, to Sept. 30, 1826, they gave 79 performances at the Park and Bowery theaters in N.Y.; the troupe then spent 18 months in Mexico. Garcia returned to Paris, and devoted himself to teaching and composition. His operas, all forgotten, comprise 17 in Spanish, 18 in Italian, and 8 in French, besides a number never performed, and numerous ballets. He was a preeminently successful teacher, numbering his 2 daughters, Maria Malibran and Pauline Viardot-Garcia, and Nourrit, Rimbault, and Favelli among his best pupils.

Bibliography

G. Malvern, The Great G.s (N.Y, 1958).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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