Rauzzini, Venanzio , Italian castrato soprano, harpsichordist, teacher, and composer; b. Camerino, near Rome (baptized), Dec. 19, 1746; d. Bath, April 18, 1810. He studied in Rome, where he made his debut in Piccinni’s Il finto astrologo (Feb. 7, 1765). He then was in the service of the Elector Max Joseph III in Munich (1766–72), during which period he commenced his career as a composer for the theater; also sang in Venice and Vienna. He was primo uomo in Mozart’s Lucio Siila (Milan, Dec. 26, 1772) and in Paisiello’s Sismano nel Mogol (Milan, Jan. 30, 1773); Mozart wrote his famous motet Exsultate, jubilate for him (1773). After singing in Venice (1773–74), Padua (1773), and Turin (1774), he went to London as a leading member of the King’s Theatre (1774—77); the revised version of his most successful opera, Piramo e Tisbe, was produced there on March 16, 1775. He subsequently was active mainly in Bath as a performer, teacher, and concert manager; also made visits to London. Among his most famous pupils were Mrs. Billington, John Braham, Michael Kelly, and Nancy Storace.
(all first perf. in London unless otherwise given): DRAMATIC : Opera : Piramo e Tisbe (Munich, 1769; rev. version, March 16, 1775); L’Eroe cinese (Munich, 1771; rev. version, March 16, 1782); Le ali d’amore (Feb. 29, 1776; rev. version, March 13, 1777); L’omaggio di paesani al signore del contado (June 5, 1781; only Act 2 by Rauzzini); Creusa in Delfo (April 29, 1783); Alina, o sia La Regina di Golconda (March 18, 1784); La Vestale, o sia L’amore protetto dal cielo (May 1, 1787). Pasticcios : Armida (Nov. 19, 1774); La Sposa fedele (Oct. 31, 1775); Didone (Nov. 11, 1775); The Duenna or Double Elopement (Nov. 21, 1775); Astarto (Nov. 2, 1776); Ezio (Nov. 17, 1781); The Village Maid (n.d.). Other: Incidental music. OTHER : Italian duets and songs and English songs; 15 sonatas for Piano or Harpsichord, and Violin Accompaniment: 6 as op.l (1777), 6 as op.8 (1781), and 3 as op.15, nos. 1 to 3 (1786); 12 string quartets: op.2 (c. 1777) and op.7 (c. 1778); 6 Quartets for Piano or Harpsichord, 2 Violins, and Cello, op.6 (c. 1778); 4 duets for Piano or Harpsichord, 4-Hands: 3 as op.12 (1783) and 1 as op.15, no. 4 (1786); a Sinfonia; dances; lessons; etc.
J. Reindl, V. R. als Instrumental-Komponist (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1961).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire