Mandnelli, Luigi

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Mandnelli, Luigi

Mandnelli, Luigi, distinguished Italian conductor and composer; b. Orvieto, Feb. 5,1848; d. Rome, Feb. 2, 1921. He studied organ and cello with his brother, Marino, then was a cellist in the Orvieto cappella and the orch. of the Teatro della Pergola in Florence; also studied cello with Sbola and composition with Mabellini in Florence. He then was 1st cellist and maestro concertatore at the Teatro Morlacchi in Perugia. In 1874 he made his conducting debut there in Aida after the regular conductor was unable to lead the performance owing to a temporarily inebriated condition. He then was called to Rome, where he was conductor of the Teatro Apollo from 1874 to 1881; subsequently he served as director of the Bologna Cons. On June 18, 1886, he made his London debut conducting a concert performance; in 1887 he conducted at Drury Lane; from 1888 to 1905 he was chief conductor at Covent Garden, and from 1887 to 1893 he conducted opera in Madrid. He joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. in 1893, and continued to conduct there until 1903. On May 25, 1908, he led the first performance at the newly opened Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, returning there in 1909, 1910, and 1913. He enjoyed a fine reputation as a competent, dependable, and resourceful opera conductor; naturally, he excelled in the Italian repertoire, but he also conducted Wagner’s operas, albeit in dubious Italian translation. From his experience as an opera conductor, he learned the art of composing for the theater; his operas are indeed most effective; of these, Ero e Leandro became a favorite.

Works

dramatic: Opera: Isora de Provenza (Bologna, Oct. 2, 1884); Tizianello (Rome, June 20, 1895); Ero e Leandro (Norwich Festival, Oct. 8, 1896); Paolo e Francesca (Bologna, Nov. 11, 1907); Sogno di una notte d’estate, after Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (not produced). oratorios:lsaia (Norwich, Oct. 13, 1887); Santa Agnese (Norwich, Oct. 27,1905). other:Cinematic cantata, Giuliano l’Apostata (Rome, 1920); Intermezzi sinfonici for Cleopatra by Cossa, a symphonic suite.

Bibliography

L. Arnedo, L. M. y su opera Hero y Leandro (Madrid, 1898); G. Orefice, L. M. (Rome, 1921); L. Silvestri, L M.: Direttore e compositore (Milan, 1966); A. Mariani, L. M.: La vita (Lucca, 1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire