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Velluti, Giovanni Battista

Velluti, Giovanni Battista

Velluti, Giovanni Battista, famous Italian castrato soprano; b. Montolmo, Ancona, Jan. 28, 1781; d. Sambruson di Dolo, Venice, Jan. 22, 1861. He studied with Mattei in Bologna and with Calpi in Ravenna, making his debut in 1801 in Forlì. He then sang in Naples in the premieres of Guglielmi’s Asteria e Teseoand Andreozzi’s Virano e Tisbe. From 1805 to 1808 he was in Rome, where he appeared in the premiere of Nicolini’s Traiano in Dado;his La Scala debut in Milan followed in that composer’s Coriolano (Dec. 26, 1808). After appearances in Venice (1810) and Turin (1811), he sang in Vienna (1812); also appeared in Munich, where he was named Bavarian court singer. He sang in the premiere of Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmirain Milan (Dec. 26, 1813), and then toured throughout Italy; also made appearances in Germany and Russia. On March 7,1824, he created the role of Armando in Meyerbeer’s II Crociato in Egittoin Venice; chose that same role for his London debut on June 3, 1825, at the King’s Theatre, where he continued to sing until 1826, making his farewell to London in 1829. Velluti was the last great castrato of the age.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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