Manna, Gennaro

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Manna, Gennaro

Manna, Gennaro, Italian composer; b. Naples, Dec. 12, 1715; d. there, Dec. 28, 1779. He was a pupil at the Cons. de S. Onofrio a Capuana in Naples, where his uncle, Francesco Feo, was primo maestro. In 1744 he was made maestro di cappella at the Naples Cathedral. He concurrently pursued a successful career as a theater composer. In 1755 he became an interim teacher at S. Maria di Loreto, where he then served on the faculty (1756–61). While continuing in his post at the Naples Cathedral, he also was maestro di cappella at the Ss. Annunziata from 1761. In later years, he devoted himself to composing sacred music. In addition to 13 stage works, he also composed 8 oratorios and more than 150 other sacred scores. His brother, Giacinto Manna (b. Naples, Sept. 13, 1706; d. there, March 11, 1768), was a harpsichordist. His son, Gaetano Manna (b. Naples, May 12, 1751; d. there, 1804), was a composer. His uncle Gennaro helped launch his career as a theater composer following his studies with Gallo and Fenaroli at S. Maria di Loreto. Upon his uncle’s retirement at Ss. Annunziata, he became maestro di cappella. He also was secondo maestro at the Naples Cathedral and maestro di cappella at other churches. Among his works were an oratorio and masses.

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire