Reference Entry

Faggioli, Michelangelo

James L. Jackman

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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(b Naples, 1666; d Naples, Nov 23, 1733). Italian composer. He came from a family of lawyers and in 1687 received the doctorate at the University of Naples in both canon and civil law. He composed, apparently in 1706, the music for the earliest known comic opera in Neapolitan dialect, La Cilla (text by F.A. Tullio), which was ‘splendidly produced’ on 26 December 1707 in the palace of Fabrizio Carafa, Prince of Chiusiano, to celebrate the return of Carafa's son from Spain; the libretto indicates, however, that the work had already been performed in the preceding year. Its novelty was such as to occasion comment in contemporary Neapolitan journals, and Faggioli himself, in his dedicatory letter, shows awareness of having created something new, begging forebearance and protection for it. Further performances held in Carafa's palace in January 1708 attest its success. In this prototype of dialect comic operas all the characters sing in Neapolitan. The plot is a romantic farce set in a village, with comic effects arising from the devices of mistaken identity and transvestite disguise. Some 66 short arias, duets and trios, spaced without any apparent plan, frequently interrupt the action; the exit aria is not yet a standardized feature. The music is lost, but Faggioli's style in this genre can be seen in a comic cantata with dialect text for soprano solo and continuo, ...

Reference Entry.  456 words. 

Subjects: Baroque Music

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