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Basile, Adriana (c. 1590–c. 1640)

Italian singer. Name variations: Adreana, Adriana Basile Baroni. Born Adriana Basile in Posillip near Naples around 1590 (some sources cite c. 1580); died in Rome around 1640; sister ofVittoria andMargherita Basile (d. 1636?); married Mutio Baroni; children: three, including daughters Leonora (1611–1670) andCaterina Baroni (1620–?) who were also singers and performed with their mother at their salon in Rome. Basile, who performed in Mantua, Naples, and Rome, was awarded a barony for her singing.

Adriana Basile came from a musical family: her brother Lelio was a composer, and her sisters, Margherita and Vittoria , were singers. One brother, Giovanni Battista, was a poet. Basile began singing in the Mantuan court around 1610. Within a few months, Monteverdi declared her more gifted than the Medici singer Francesca Caccini . Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga awarded Basile a barony for her singing, and the duke's son Ferdinando bestowed further honors upon her. In 1621, she performed Alessandro Guarini's Licori, ouvero L' incanto d'amore in Mantua. Between 1618 and 1623, she also performed in Venice, Rome, and Modena. Released from Mantuan service in 1626, she continued to perform in Naples and Rome. We know that Monteverdi recommended that Basile and her sisters write solos for a dramatic entertainment, so she may have been a composer as well as a singer. Her sister Margherita was also a singer at Mantua and became the principal singer at the court in the 1620s and 1630s. The talent passed on to the following generation, and Leonora Baroni (1611–1670), Basile's daughter, became a famous singer in Italy and France.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

Basile, Adriana (c. 1590–c. 1640)

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