Smareglia, Antonio

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Smareglia, Antonio

Smareglia, Antonio , talented Italian composer; b. Pola, Istria, May 5, 1854; d. Grado, Istria, April 15, 1929. He was trained in engineering before turning to music; studied composition with Franco Faccio at the Milan Cons. (1873–77), who became an early champion of his works. He first attracted notice with his opera Preziosa (Milan, Nov. 19, 1879); wrote his finest opera for Trieste, Nozze istriane (March 28, 1895). In 1903 he was stricken with blindness and was soon reduced to poverty; through the intervention of the Tartini Cons. in Trieste, which made him honorary artistic director in 1921, and the local industrialist Carlo Sai, his fortunes were mended and he was able to present several of his operatic and orch. works. He also engaged in private teaching. After the onset of his blindness, he continued to compose with the assistance of an amanuensis.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Preziosa (Milan, Nov. 19, 1879); Bianca di Cervia (Milan, Feb. 7, 1882); Re Naia (Venice, Feb. 9, 1887; destroyed by the composer); 11 vassallo di Szigeth (first perf. as Der Vasall von Szigeth, Vienna, Oct. 4, 1889; first perf. in Italian, Pola, Oct. 4, 1930); Cornil Schut (first perf. as Cornelius Schut, Prague, May 20, 1893; first perf. in Italian, Trieste, Feb. 17, 1900; rev. as Pittori fiamminghi, Trieste, Jan. 21, 1928); Nozze istriane (Trieste, March 28, 1895); La falena (Venice, Sept. 4, 1897); Oceàna (Milan, Jan. 22, 1903); Abisso (Milan, Feb. 9, 1914). ORCH.: Leonora, ballata di Burger, “descriptive sym.” (1877); Oceana Suite (1902). VOCAL: Caccia lontana, melodramatic scene (Milan, Aug. 10, 1875); Inno a Tartini for Voices and Band (1896); Salve regina for Voices and Piano or Harmonium (1930).


G. Zuccoli, A. S. (Trieste, 1922); G. Nacamuli, A. S. (Trieste, 1930); A. Smareglia, Vita ed arte di A. S.: Un capitolo di storia del teatro lirico italiano (Lugano, 1932; second ed., 1936); M. Smareglia, A. S. nella storia del melodramma italiano: Accolta di critiche musicali e di altri documenti (Pola, 1934); V. Levi, Nozze istriane: Nel centenario della nascita di A. S. (Trieste, 1954); S. Benco, Ricordi di A. S. (Duino, 1968).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire