Personalities | Giovanni Francesco Grossi Siface | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera

1653–97, Italian

Castrato Siface made his singing debut in Rome in 1672. He enjoyed considerable early success in Italy and created a sensation in Venice as Syphax in Cavalli’s Sciopine affricano (‘Scipio Africanus’, 1685). Siface became so identified with the part that ‘Syphax’ became his nickname. Siface was taken up by many important personalities, including ex-Queen Christina of Sweden and by Henry Purcell in England; Purcell wrote a piece for harpsichord entitled ‘Sefauci’s Farewell’ when the singer left England in 1687. Siface, praised as the finest living musician, received an almost hysterical reception in 1688 when he sang in Modena, Naples, Parma and Bologna. Unfortunately, Siface developed an ego to match his talents and his arrogance led to his murder near Ferrara by thugs hired by the family of a girl with whom he had been having a love affair.

Introduction | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Personalities | Alessandro Stradella | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
The Voice | The Castrati | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
The Voice | The Training of the Castrati | Late Baroque | Opera
Houses & Companies | Baroque Opera in Naples | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera


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