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Verdi’s dark, brooding opera Simon Boccanegra had a tortuous history before 24 March 1881, when its final version premiered at La Scala, Milan. Verdi composed Boccanegra in 1857, but the Venetian audience reacted coolly; an anti-Verdi claque sabotaged the performance and a false rumour spread, claiming that Verdi had written the libretto and made a mess of ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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b. 1955 English conductor Rattle won the John Player International Conductors’ Competition in 1974. After posts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, he was principal conductor and music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, 1980–97. In 1999 he was appointed Abbado’s successor, from 2002, at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1710–92, French Charles Favart became director of the Comédie-Italienne in Paris in 1758. His 11-year term as director was evidently important in the theatre’s history, for in 1871 it was renamed Salle Favart. As a librettist, Favart’s output was prodigious: he wrote 150 libretti for composers such as Gluck, Philidor and Grétry. Favart’s forte was the comic ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Guitar, vocals, b. 1941) Paul Simon (1972) was an eclectic affair followed a year later by the more straightforward There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. His third solo album Still Crazy After All These Years (1975) featured a reunion with Art Garfunkel on the duet ‘My Little Town’. The singer’s most popular and influential work was Graceland (1986), which utilized African ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Vocal duo, 1957–71, 1981–83, 2003–04, 2009–10) As ‘Tom and Jerry’, Paul Simon (vocals, guitar) and Art Garfunkel (vocals) had a minor US Hot 100 success as teenagers in 1957 with ‘Hey Schoolgirl’. Both attempted to forge solo careers, which took Simon to the UK where he became a reliable draw in the country’s folk clubs. ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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b. 1959 English baritone Following a period with Scottish Opera (1988–94), he made his debuts at Glyndebourne and La Scala in 1995, and at the Metropolitan Opera in 1996. Much in demand in for the Mozart baritone roles (recording Don Giovanni for Abbado), he was also praised as Britten’s Billy Budd at Covent Garden (in 2000) and on record (under ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Se’-mon Mi’-er) 1763–1845 German composer Mayr grew up in Bavaria and taught himself to play most string and wind instruments, before moving to Venice, where he studied composition with Ferdinando Bertoni. Mayr composed numerous operas, many for La Scala, Milan. Although his works exhibit diverse stylistic elements, his melodic and harmonic expression was rooted in late Neapolitan ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1763–1845, German The German-born composer Simon Mayr was studying in Italy when the patron who supported him died and he faced an uncertain future. Piccinni  encouraged him to write opera and Mayr took his advice. Mayr’s first opera, Saffo (1794), attracted several commissions, but his great breakthrough came when Ginevra di Scozia (‘Ginevra of Scotland’, 1801) was performed ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1663–1745, French Simon-Joseph Pellegrin was a monk who sailed twice with the French fleet to the Orient, and who put into verse Biblical texts that were sung to music by Lully and Campra at the royal convent at St Cyr. Pellegrin provided libretti for many composers, including Campra and Desmarets, but his best-known works are Jephté, set ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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British authorities banned the playing of skin drums and other percussion because they had been used by street gangs to incite violence. Pan folklore states that it was Winston ‘Spree’ Simon (1930–76) who, in 1942, discovered that dents in the top of the oil drum produced pitches. He created a 14-note ping-pong or melody pan by hammering out the ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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cultural roots within the music, an understanding of where the components began life. By asking South African musicians to play in the manner to which they were accustomed, Simon acknowledged their culture. The Beatles may be everybody’s idea of a Liverpool band, but nothing in their music contains ‘essence of Liverpool’, so we can file them under pop. ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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distant sail in a storm. Recommended Recording: Billy Budd, London Symphony Orchestra; Richard Hickox, conductor; Chandos CHAN9826; Soloists: Philip Langridge (Vere), Francis Egerton (Red Whiskers), Mark Padmore (Novice), Simon Keenlyside (Billy), Alan Opie (Mr Redburn), John Tomlinson (Claggart), Matthew Best (Mr Flint), Alan Ewing (Mr Ratcliffe), Clive Bayley (Dansker) Personalities | Benjamin Britten | Modern Era | Opera ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Rameau’s magnificent Hippolyte et Aricie is a rare example of a major composer’s first attempt at opera also being one of his greatest achievements. However, Rameau was nearly 50 years old and already a respected and experienced musician when he composed it, and had evidently been contemplating the project for several years. The impressive literary quality of Pellegrin’s libretto ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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for his unfashionably Romantic opera Troilus and Cressida (1954). Recommended Recording: Symphony No. 1, Belshazzar’s Feast, Thomas Hampson, Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, CBSO & Chorus (cond) Sir Simon Rattle (EMI/Warner) Introduction | Modern Era | Classical Personalities | Anton Webern | Modern Era | Classical ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Master of guitar-generated sound effects, Adrian Belew (b. 1949) makes his Parker Deluxe guitar not only sing but also scream, squawk, roar, tweet and talk in elephant tongue. Best known for his time in King Crimson during the early Eighties as comic foil to Robert Fripp’s relatively nerdy straight man, Belew is one of the most ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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