Personalities | Gaetano Guadagni | Classical Era | Opera

1725–92, Italian

The castrato Gaetano Guadagni first sang as a contralto, but later retrained as a soprano. Although he had no early training, Handel hired him to sing in his oratorios Messiah and Samson. In 1754–55, Guadagni made up for his lack of training by studying with Gioacchino Gizziello (1714–61) in Lisbon and with the English actor David Garrick (1717–79) in London. After returning to mainland Europe in 1757 Guidagni sang in operas by Hasse and Traetta, and created the title roles in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Telemaco. In later years, Guadagni performed in Munich and Potsdam before retiring to Padua in 1776. Charles Burney was a great admirer of Guadagni, praising him as an actor ‘without equal’ on stage and as an ‘impassioned and exquisite’ singer.

Introduction | Classical Era | Opera
Personalities | Johann Adolf Hasse | Classical Era | Opera
The Voice | The Castrati | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
The Voice | The Training of the Castrati | Late Baroque | Opera


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