Agnesi, Maria Teresa (1720–1795)

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Agnesi, Maria Teresa (1720–1795)

Italian harpsichordist, singer, and librettist who was also one of the first female opera composers. Name variations: Maria Theresa. Born in Milan, Italy, on October 17, 1720; died in Milan on January 19, 1795; daughter of Pietro Agnesi (a wealthy merchant with ties to the University of Bologna) and Anna Fortunata Brivio; sister of Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718–1799, a mathematician); married Pier Antonio Pinottini on June 13, 1752.

Maria Teresa Agnesi, sister of Maria Gaetana Agnesi , was one of the first female opera composers. Her portrait hangs in the theater museum of La Scala, a testament to her contributions to the musical world. As a girl, she performed and sang her own compositions. In 1747, her first theatrical work, Il ristoro d'Arcadia, was successfully presented in Milan's ducal theater. Her next opera, Ciro in Armenia, produced in 1753, used her own libretto. She wrote Insubria consolata in 1766 to honor the engagement of Beatrice d'Este and the Archduke Ferdinand and it was performed that year. According to Simonetti, the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria-Hungary sang from a collection of arias Agnesi had given her. A composer, harpsichordist, singer, and librettist, whose collections of arias were widely known in Italy and German-speaking Europe, Maria Teresa Agnesi was a forerunner of the great Italian opera composers.

suggested reading:

Anzoletti. L. Maria Gaetana Agnese. Milan, 1900.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Agnesi, Maria Teresa (1720–1795)

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