Personalities | Nicolini or Nicolo Grimaldi | Late Baroque | Opera
Nicolo Grimaldi, known as ‘Nicolini’, studied singing in Naples with the composer Francesco Provenzale (1624–1704), and made his debut at the age of 12. Nicolini sang in the cathedral and royal chapel as a soprano, but soon became associated with operas by Scarlatti. He also sang for Bononcini, Lotti, Leo, Porpora and Vinci. Nicolini visited London in 1708, and received great acclaim for performances of Scarlatti’s Pirro e Demetrio (1708). With the theatre manager Owen Swiney, Nicolini made Italian opera fashionable with adaptations of works such as Bononcini’s Camilla (1709). He created the title roles in Handel’s Rinaldo and Amadigi. Nicolini left London in 1717, although during the mid-1720s Swiney repeatedly attempted to influence the Royal Academy into engaging him once more. He remained active until his death, which occurred in Naples during the rehearsals of Pergolesi’s first opera La Salustia (1732).
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