Marchetti, Filippo

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Marchetti, Filippo

Marchetti, Filippo, Italian composer; b. Bolognola, near Camerino, Feb. 26, 1831; d. Rome, Jan. 18, 1902. After initial training with Bindi in Bolognola (1843–50), he was a student of Lillo (figured bass and harmony) and Conti (counterpoint and composition) at the Naples Cons. (1850–54). His first opera, Gentile de Varano (Turin, Feb. 1856), proved a fine success. However, his next opera, La Demente (Turin, Nov. 27, 1856), failed to please the public, and his third opera, II Paria, failed even to reach the stage. Discouraged, he became active as a teacher in Rome. His next opera, Romeo e Giulietta (Trieste, Oct. 25,1865), failed at its premiere but struck a responsive chord with the public at its staging at Milan’s Teatro Carcano in 1867. The first performance of his opera Ruy Bias at Milan’s La Scala (April 3, 1869) also was initially unsuccessful, but it soon was staged in Florence with notable success and then was heard throughout Europe and North and South America. A duet from the opera, “O dolce voluttà” was long popular with the public. His last operas, Gustavo Wasa (Milan, Feb. 7, 1875) and Don Giovanni d’Austria (Turin, March 11, 1880), were failures. Marchetti served as president of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia (1881–86) and as director of the Liceo Musicale (1886–1901) in Rome. Among his other works were orch. pieces, choral works, and sacred music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire