Giordani, Tommaso

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Giordani, Tommaso

Giordani, Tommaso, Italian composer; b. Naples, c. 1730; d. Dublin, Feb. 23 or 24,1806. His family formed a strolling opera company, with the father as impresario and singer and the rest of the family, except Tommaso, as singers. Tommaso was probably a member of the orch. and the arranger of music. They left Naples about 1745 and moved northward, appearing in Italian towns, then in Graz (1748), Frankfurt am Main (1750), Amsterdam (1752), and Covent Garden, London (Dec. 17, 1753). They returned in 1756, at which time Tommaso first appeared as a composer, with his comic opera La Comediante fatta cantatrice (Covent Garden, Jan. 12, 1756). The Giordani company next went to Dublin, appearing there in 1764; Tommaso continued to be active both in Dublin and in London. He was conductor and composer at the King’s Theatre, London, in 1769 and many following seasons, and in Dublin, where he lived after 1783. He was conductor and composer at the Smock Alley and Crow St. theaters, and also taught piano. In 1794 he was elected president of the Irish music fund. He played an important part in Irish music circles, and wrote altogether more than 50 English and Italian operas, including pasticcios and adaptations. The most notable were L’Eroe cinese (Dublin, 1766), // Padre e ilfiglio rivali (London, 1770), Artaserse (London, 1772), // Re pastore (London, 1778) and // bacio (London, 1782). He also wrote several cantatas, including Ad e Galatea (London, 1777), an oratorio, Isaac (Dublin, 1767), songs for the original production of Sheridan’s The Critic (Drury Lane, London, Oct. 29, 1779), many Italian and English songs that were long popular, concertos, string quartets, trios and many piano pieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire