Shira, Francesco, Italian conductor, singing teacher, and composer; b. Malta, Aug. 21, 1808; d. London, Oct. 15, 1883. He studied at the Milan Cons. with Basili. He brought out his first opera, Elena e Malvina, at La Scala in Milan (Nov. 17, 1832), on the strength of which he was engaged as conductor of the Teatro Sāo Carlos in Lisbon (1833–42); also taught at the Lisbon Cons. In 1842, after a brief sojourn in Paris, he became conductor for the English Opera at the Princess’s Theatre in London; then conducted at Drury Lane in London (1844–47); in 1848 he went over to Covent Garden; returned to Drury Lane in 1852. In later years he made a high reputation as a singing teacher, without abandoning composition. He wrote the operas Niccolò de’ Lapi (London, 1863), Selvaggia (Venice, Feb. 20, 1875), and Lia (Venice, 1876).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire