Anastasia Robinson

(c. 1692—1755) singer

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(b ?Italy, c 1692; d Bath, April 1755). English soprano, later contralto. She was the eldest daughter of Thomas Robinson, a portrait painter from Leicestershire who travelled and studied in Italy. She studied music with William Croft and singing with Pietro Sandoni and the Baroness (Johanna Maria Lindelheim). At first she exercised her talent in private, singing to her own accompaniment at weekly conversazioni, much patronized by society, in her father's house in Golden Square. When her father's sight failed, she turned professional to support the family and began to give concerts at York Buildings and elsewhere. The solo soprano part in G. F. Handel's Ode for Queen Anne's Birthday was written for her, and she presumably sang it in February 1714. On 9 June 1713 she had a benefit at the Queen's Theatre; on 20 June she introduced a new cantata there. She joined the opera company at the beginning of 1714, making her début in the pasticcio Creso on 27 January. She sang that spring in Arminio and Ernelinda, on several occasions with new songs, and met with immediate favour. The following season, in addition to her old parts, she played Almirena in the revival of Handel's Rinaldo and sang in the new pasticcio Lucio Vero. She created the part of Oriana in Handel's Amadigi, but retired after one performance owing to illness. In the 1715–17 seasons she was in Alessandro Scarlatti's Pirro e Demetrio, the pasticcios Clearte and Vinceslao, and revivals of Rinaldo and Amadigi. She had benefits in Arminio (1714), Ernelinda (1715) and twice in Amadigi (1716 and 1717); on the last occasion (21 March) Handel composed a new scene for her and Nicolini.


From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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