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Dorothea Bussani

(1763—1810)


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(b Vienna, 1763; d after 1810). Austrian soprano. She was the daughter of Karl von Sardi, a professor at the military academy in Vienna. On 20 March 1786 she married the Italian bass Francesco Bussani. She specialized in opera buffa and made her début creating the role of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (1786); she also created the role of Ghita in Vicente Martín y Soler's Una cosa rara (1786), sang Despina in the première of Così fan tutte (1790) and created the role of Fidalma in Domenico Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto (1792). She always pleased the public, and a contemporary wrote that he had never heard such a beautiful and charming chest voice, nor one used with such humour and so mischievously (Grundsätze zur Theaterkritik, 1790). Lorenzo Da Ponte, on the other hand, wrote: ‘though awkward and of little merit, by dint of grimaces and clowning and perhaps by means even more theatrical, she built up a large following among cooks, grooms, servants, lackeys and wigmakers, and in consequence was considered a gem’ (Memorie, 1823–7).

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From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.


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