Personalities | Faustina Bordoni | Late Baroque | Opera

1697–1781, Italian

Venetian mezzo-soprano Faustina Bordoni was brought up by the composers Alessandro (1669–1750) and Benedetto Marcello (1686–1739). She made her debut in Pollarolo’s Ariodante in 1716, and was based in her home city until 1725, singing in operas by her teacher Gasparini, as well as Albinoni and Lotti. Between 1726 and 1728, she performed in London alongside Senesino and Cuzzoni in Handel’s ‘Rival Queens’ operas. The legendary enmity between Faustina and Cuzzoni culminated in 1727 when they came to blows on stage in a performance of Bononcini’s Astianatte. Faustina married the composer Hasse in 1730 – the librettist Pietro Metastasio (1698–1782) described them as ‘truly an exquisite couple’. Faustina appeared in many of her husband’s opera seria composed for Dresden, and eventually retired in 1751. In 1773, she and her husband settled in Venice, where both of their daughters trained as singers.

Introduction | Late Baroque | Opera
Personalities | William Boyce | Late Baroque | Opera


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