At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

28 May 2019

Geminiano Giacomelli – composer

Farnese duke encouraged musician to develop his talent


Geminiano Giacomelli composed 19 operas over the course of his career
Geminiano Giacomelli composed 19
operas over the course of his career
One of the most popular composers of opera in the early 18th century in Italy, Geminiano Giacomelli (sometimes known as Jacomelli) was born on this day in 1692 at Colorno near Parma.

From 1724, when his opera Ipermestra was performed for the first time, up to his death in 1740, Giacomelli composed 19 operas.

His best known work was Cesare in Egitto - Caesar in Egypt - which he produced in 1735.

As a young child he had studied singing, counterpoint and the harpsichord with Giovanni Maria Capelli, organist and composer at the Farnese court and maestro di cappella at the cathedral in Parma.

The cover page of Giacomelli's first opera, Ipermestra
The cover page of Giacomelli's
first opera, Ipermestra
After moving to Piacenza, Giacomelli became maestro di cappella in the ducal parish of San Fermo. In 1719 he became maestro di cappella to the Farnese court and also at the Chiesa della Madonna della Steccata. He wrote sacred music, including eight psalm settings for tenor and bass and some concertos with continuo.

Duke Francesco Farnese became Giacomelli’s protector and made him maestro di cappella for life at the church of San Giovanni in Piacenza with an annual salary.

He also allowed him time off to work on his operas. In 1728 Giacomelli composed Scipione in Cartagine nuova for the Teatro Ducale and the following year, Lucio Papirio dittatore for the visit of Rinaldo d’Este, Duke of Modena.

In 1738 Giacomelli became maestro di cappella at the Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto in Le Marche. Giacomelli died in Loreto in January 1740.

Mochi's statue of Alexander Farnese in Piacenza
Mochi's statue of Alexander
Farnese in Piacenza
Travel tip:

Piacenza, where Geminiano Giacomelli worked for the Duke of Parma, is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. The main square in Piacenza is named Piazza Cavalli because of its two bronze equestrian monuments featuring Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma and his son Ranuccio I Farnese, Duke of Parma, who succeeded him. The statues are masterpieces by the sculptor Francesco Mochi.  The city is situated between the River Po and the Apennines, between Bologna and Milan. It has many fine churches and old palaces. Piacenza Cathedral was built in 1122 and is a good example of northern Italian Romanesque architecture.

The Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto, where Giacomelli was maestro di cappella until his death in 1740
The Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto, where Giacomelli
was maestro di cappella until his death in 1740
Travel tip:

Loreto in Le Marche, where Giacomelli worked until his death, is a hill town, about 5km (3 miles) inland from the Adriatic coast, about 25km (16 miles) south of Ancona. The Basilica della Santa Casa, where he was maestro di cappella, is a beautiful, late Gothic structure containing works of art by Luca Signorelli and Lorenzo Lotto. The town is easily identified from a distance away by the dome of the basilica, which stands taller than anything else in the area. It takes its name from the rustic stone cottage that once occupied its site - and indeed is preserved inside the structure of the cathedral - which was said to be the place of refuge to which angels brought the Madonna as a safe haven after the Saracens had invaded the Holy Land.

More reading:

Francesca Cuzzoni, 18th century soprano with a fiery temper

Ranucio Farnese and a deadly feud

The genius of Alessandro Scarlatti

Also on this day:

1606: Caravaggio and the fight that left a man dead

1987: The birth of Italian cricketer Leandro Jayarajah

1999: Da Vinci's The Last Supper goes on display after restoration


Home

No comments:

Post a Comment