Mariani, Angelo (Maurizio Gaspare)

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Mariani, Angelo (Maurizio Gaspare)

Mariani, Angelo (Maurizio Gaspare), eminent Italian conductor; b. Ravenna, Oct. 11, 1821; d. Genoa, June 13, 1873. He studied violin with P. Casalini and counterpoint with G. Roberti at the Ravenna Phil. Academy’s music school, and also learned to play other instruments. He began his career as bandmaster of the city of Sant’ Agata Feltria (1842); became a violinist and violist in the orch. in Rimini (1843). That same year he brought out a concerto and 2 overtures in Macerata, gaining the admiration and friendship of Rossini. He was 1st violinist and maestro concertatore in Messina (1844–45), then made his first appearance in Milan at the Teatro Re conducting Verdi’s I due Voscari (July 1, 1846), winning the praise of the composer; subsequently conducted at the Teatro Carcano there, and then conducted at the Copenhagen Court Theater (1847–48). After taking part in the Italian war of independence in 1848, he was compelled to leave his homeland and went to Constantinople. He was conductor at the Pera theater there until 1850. He returned to Italy in 1851, conducting in Messina, then was appointed director and conductor of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, making his debut conducting Robert le diable on May 15, 1852. He led many fine performances there of operas by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, and Verdi, becoming a close friend of the latter; also assumed the directorship of the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, making his debut leading Un ballo in maschera on Oct. 4, 1860. He conducted the first Italian performances of Lohengrin (Nov. 1, 1871) and Tannhäuser (Nov. 11, 1872) in Bologna. Stricken with intestinal cancer, he was unable to accede to Verdi’s request that he conduct the premiere of Aida in Cairo. In spite of his grave illness, he carried out his duties in both Genoa and Bologna until his death. Mariani was one of the foremost Italian operatic conductors of his era, especially esteemed for his authoritative performances of the great masterpieces of the Italian stage. He himself wrote several cantatas, chamber music, songs, and piano pieces.


S. Busmanti, Cenni su A. M. (Ravenna, 1887); T. Mantovani, A. M. (Rome, 1921); U. Zoppi, A. M., Giuseppe Verdi e Teresa Stolz in un carteggio inedito (Milan, 1947).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire