Pacchiarotti, Gasparo

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Pacchiarotti, Gasparo

Pacchiarotti, Gasparo, famous Italian castrato soprano; b. Fabriano, near Ancona (baptized), May 21, 1740; d. Padua, Oct. 28,1821. He studied with Bertoni at San Marco in Venice, where he was principal soloist (1765–68). He then was primo uomo in Palermo (1770–71) before singing in Naples (1771–76). After appearing throughout Italy, he was engaged for the inaugural operation productions at Milan’s La Scala (Aug.-Sept. 1778). He sang at the King’s Theatre in London (1778–80), returning there 1781–84; also appeared at the Tuileries before the French court (1782). Having served as primo uomo at Venice’s Teatro S. Benedetto (1784–91), he once more sang in London (1791), appearing in concert as well as opera. He sang in the inaugural season at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice (1792–93) before retiring to his estate in Padua. He later sang for Napoleon in Padua (1796) and at Bertoni’s funeral at San Marco (June 28, 1814). Pacchiarotti was acclaimed as the greatest castrato of his day, his voice ranging from C to B flat. A. Calegari pubi. Modi generali del canto premessi alle maniere parziali onde adornace o rifiorice le nude o semplici melodie o cantilene giusta il metodo di Gasparo Pacchiarotti (Milan, 1836).


G. Pacchiarotti (his adopted son), Cenni biografici intorno a G P. (Padua, 1844); R. Sassi, Un celebre musico fabrianese, G. P. (col testamento) (Fabriano, 1935).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire