Amilcare Ponchielli (Italian: [aˈmilkare poŋˈkjɛlli], 31 August 1834 – 16 January 1886) was an Italian opera composer, best known for his opera La Gioconda. He was married to the soprano Teresina Brambilla.
|Born||31 August 1834|
|Died||16 January 1886 (aged 51)|
|List of operas|
Born in Paderno Fasolaro (now Paderno Ponchielli) near Cremona, then Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Ponchielli won a scholarship at the age of nine to study music at the Milan Conservatory, writing his first symphony by the time he was ten years old.
Two years after leaving the conservatory he wrote his first opera—it was based on Alessandro Manzoni's great novel The Betrothed (I promessi sposi)—and it was as an opera composer that he eventually found fame.
His early career was disappointing. Maneuvered out of a professorship at the Milan Conservatory that he had won in a competition, he took small-time jobs in small cities, and composed several operas, none successful at first. In spite of his disappointment, he gained much experience as the bandmaster (capobanda) in Piacenza and Cremona, arranging and composing over 200 works for wind band. Notable among his "original" compositions for band are the first-ever concerto for euphonium (Concerto per Flicornobasso, 1872), fifteen variations on the popular Parisian song "Carnevale di Venezia", and a series of festive and funeral marches that resound with the pride of the newly unified Italy and the private grief of his fellow Cremonese. The turning point was the big success of the revised version of I promessi sposi in 1872, which brought him a contract with the music publisher G. Ricordi & Co. and the musical establishment at the Conservatory and at La Scala. The role of Lina in the revised version was sung by Teresina Brambilla whom he married in 1874. Their son Annibale became a music critic and minor composer. The ballet Le due gemelle (1873) confirmed his success.
The following opera, I Lituani (The Lithuanians) of 1874, was also well received, being performed later at Saint Petersburg (as Aldona on 20 November 1884). His most well-known opera is La Gioconda (1876), which his librettist Arrigo Boito adapted from the same play by Victor Hugo that had been previously set by Saverio Mercadante as Il giuramento in 1837 and Carlos Gomes as Fosca in 1873. It was first produced in 1876 and revised several times. The version that has become popular today was first given in 1880.
In 1876 he started working on I Mori di Valenza, although the project dates back to 1873. It was an opera that he never finished, although it was completed later by Arturo Cadore and performed posthumously in 1914.
After La Gioconda, Ponchielli wrote the monumental biblical melodrama in four acts Il figliuol prodigo given in Milan at La Scala on 26 December 1880 and Marion Delorme, from another play by Victor Hugo, which was presented at La Scala on 17 March 1885. In spite of their rich musical invention, neither of these operas met with the same success but both exerted great influence on the composers of the rising generation, such as Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni and Umberto Giordano.
In 1881, Ponchielli was appointed maestro di cappella of the Bergamo Cathedral, and from the same year he was a professor of composition at the Milan Conservatory, where among his students were Puccini, Mascagni and Emilio Pizzi.
|You may listen to Ponchielli's opera La Gioconda as sung by Maria Callas, Fedora Barbieri, Gianni Poggi, Paolo Silveri, Giulio Neri with Antonino Votto conducting the Orchestra della RAI Torino in 1952 here on archive.org|
Although in his lifetime Ponchielli was very popular and influential, in introducing an enlarged orchestra and more complex orchestration, the only one of his operas regularly performed today is La Gioconda. It contains the great tenor romanza "Cielo e mar", a well-known duet for tenor and baritone titled "Enzo Grimaldo", the soprano set-piece "Suicidio!", and the ballet section known as "The Dance of the Hours", which is universally known largely thanks to its feature in Walt Disney's Fantasia in 1940, Allan Sherman's novelty song, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh", and numerous other popular works.
An Amilcare Ponchielli Bibliography-
Books, Collections, Proceedings and Correspondence
Alberto Mazzucato (28 July 1813 – 31 December 1877) was an Italian composer, music teacher, and writer.
Mazzucato was born in Udine. Trained at the Padua Conservatory, he composed eight operas between 1834 and 1843, of which his most successful was Esmeralda (1838). He also contributed music to the pastiche La vergine di Kermo (1870) which also contained music by Carlo Pedrotti, Antonio Cagnoni, Federico Ricci, Amilcare Ponchielli, and Giovanni Pacini. Along with Luigi Felice Rossi and Guglielmo Quarenghi, he formed the Società di S Cecilia in 1860.
After his last opera, Hernani, premiered at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa on 26 December 1843, Mazzucato retired from his work as a composer in order to focus on his career as an educator. He had been appointed to the staff of the Milan Conservatory in 1843, eventually becoming its Director in 1872. Among his notable pupils were composers Arrigo Boito, Benedetto Junck, Isidore de Lara, Antônio Carlos Gomes, and Ivan Zajc, sopranos Marcella Lotti della Santa and Marietta Gazzaniga, and tenor Sims Reeves. As a writer, he wrote articles for the Gazzetta musicale di Milano between 1845–1858. In 1859 he was appointed to the post of maestro direttore e concertatore at La Scala, a position he held until 1868. He died nine years later in Milan at the age of 64.Dance of the Hours
Dance of the Hours (Italian: Danza delle ore) is a short ballet and is the act 3 finale of the opera La Gioconda composed by Amilcare Ponchielli. It depicts the hours of the day through solo and ensemble dances. The opera was first performed in 1876 and was revised in 1880. Later performed on its own, the Dance of the Hours was at one time one of the best known and most frequently performed ballets. It became even more widely known after its inclusion in the 1940 Disney animated film Fantasia where it is depicted as a comic ballet featuring anthropomorphized ostriches, hippopotamuses, elephants, and alligators.Emilio Pizzi
Emilio Pizzi (1 February 1861, Verona – 27 November 1940, Milan) was an Italian composer. His output of works include 10 operas, a ballet, an oratorio, and numerous vocal and chamber works.
Pizzi graduated from the Milan Conservatory in 1884 where he was a pupil of Antonio Bazzini and Amilcare Ponchielli and attended classes with Pietro Mascagni. Shortly after completing his education, he moved to London where he remained for almost 13 years. In 1885 his operetta Lina won the Bonetti Competition. In 1889 his first opera, Guglielmo Ratcliff, won first prize at the Baruzzi Competition. His fourth opera, Gabriella, was commissioned by Adelina Patti and she portrayed the title role when the work premiered in Boston in 1893 at the Metropolitan Theatre with the composer in attendance.
Pizzi returned to Italy in 1897 to succeed Antonio Cagnoni as the maestro di cappella at the Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. He also taught at the Bergamo Conservatory. He returned to London in 1900 where he became a popular composer of vocal pieces. He died in Milan at the age of 79.Giovanni Gioviale
Giovanni Gioviale (November 1885 – June 11, 1949) was an Italian composer and musician. He is considered one of the greatest mandolin virtuosos of all time. He also played guitar and banjo, and at the concert level with violin. He is special among the Italian mandolin masters, as one of the only ones to be recorded. He has also been credited for making famous the duo style of mandolin playing, in which one instrument sounds like several.Born Catania, Gioviale took up the mandolin when he was ten-years old. He was impressed by the music he heard at a barbershop. Craft halls were one of the types of place one could hear music in Catania then. He learned the mandolin first, then added banjo, guitar and violin, which he learned in school.He was an internationally travelling performer, performing in Spain, Africa, England, Austria and the United States. While in the United States, from 1926 to 1929, he recorded more than 50 recordings. After three years in the U.S., he missed his home and moved back to Italy. He was planning to return when he died in 1949.He continued to perform in Italy, playing in Turin, Milan, Rome, Genoa, and Palmero. In addition to his own works, he performed works by Francesco Paolo Frontini, Cali, Vincenzo Bellini, Mozart, Edvard Grieg, Amilcare Ponchielli, Giuseppe Verdi, Felix Mendelssohn, and Pietro Mascagni.Gossamer Wump
Gossamer Wump is a children's record, published in 1949 by Capitol Records, about a boy who learns to play the triangle. The story is narrated by Frank Morgan, Hollywood actor best known for his role as the Wizard in the classic film The Wizard of Oz, with music by Billy May, and written by Hollywood screenwriters Roger Price and Helen Mack.
The story is of a little boy named Gossamer Wump (a boy "with red hair, one blue eye, one green eye, and freckles all over - even his face") who learns to play the triangle to start a musical career. He makes unsuccessful musical attempts at Gaylord Gout's dance club, and then again with Stanislav Hudnut's Orchestra. His rather disastrous debut with the orchestra leaves Gossamer defeated and confused, until a certain man gives Gossamer a very important job - the job of playing the triangle on the ice cream wagon.
Gossamer Wump was one of the first children's records to be issued on a 12 inch 78 rpm vinyl disk. The standard format at that time was a 10 inch disk.
Dealers of antique records report that Gossamer Wump is one of the most popular collector's items today - one dealer reports that it is in the top three. However, it is difficult to know how popular the record was when it was issued, as there were no charts maintained by Capitol Records at the time. The record has been reissued by EMI in New Zealand.
The main theme of the record is an adaptation of the "Dance of the Hours" by Amilcare Ponchielli.
In 1960, Mel-O-Toons made a cartoon called Gosomer Wump, using a slightly abbreviated version of the recording.John Fogerty dedicated his 1985 album Centerfield to Gossamer WumpHamilcar
Hamilcar (Punic: 𐤇𐤌𐤋𐤊, ḤMLK, or 𐤇𐤌𐤋𐤒𐤓𐤕, ḤMLQRT, "Melqart is Gracious"; Greek: Ἁμίλκας, Hamílkas; Hebrew: אחי-מלקרת) was a common Carthaginian masculine given name. The name was particularly common among the ruling families of ancient Carthage.
People named Hamilcar include:
Hamilcar the Magonid, "King" of Carthage, led the Carthaginian forces at the Battle of Himera in 480 BC during the First Sicilian War
Hamilcar, a general against Timoleon of Syracuse
Hamilcar, a brother of Gisco and possibly brother of Hanno, with whom he was executed in the middle of the 4th century BC
Hamilcar the Rhodian, possibly a Carthaginian spy in the entourage of Alexander the Great, executed when returning to Carthage.
Hamilcar, son of Gisgo and grandsonof Hanno the Great, led a campaign against Agathocles of Syracuse during the Third Sicilian War. He defeated Agathocles in the Battle of the Himera River in 311 BC. He was captured during the Siege of Syracuse and then killed in 309 BC.
Hamilcar, a general in Sicily and Africa from 261 to 255 BC during the First Punic War, distinct from the Hamilcar mentioned by Diodorus
Hamilcar was a Carthaginian commander whose greatest achievement was winning the Battle of Drepanum in 249 BC during the First Punic War.
Hamilcar Barca (c. 270–228 BC) served as a Carthaginian general during and after the First Punic War. His son was Hannibal, famous for his exploits during the Second Punic War.In various forms, the name sometimes appears in other cultures. The Italian name Amilcare was one of the given names of the dictator Benito Mussolini and the composer Amilcare Ponchielli. The Portuguese name Amílcar was one of the given names of the prominent African revolutionary Amílcar Cabral.I Lituani
I Lituani (in English, The Lithuanians) is an opera consisting of a prologue and three acts by Amilcare Ponchielli to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on the historical poem Konrad Wallenrod written by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz. It premiered at La Scala in Milan on 7 March 1874.I Mori di Valenza
I Mori di Valenza (The Moors of Valencia) is an opera in four acts composed by Amilcare Ponchielli to a libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Ponchielli began composing the work in 1874, but at the time of his death in 1886, only the piano score for the first three acts and part of the fourth had been completed. The opera was later revised by Ponchielli's son Annibale and the orchestration and fourth act were completed by Arturo Cadore. It premiered on 17 March 1914 at the Théâtre du Casino in Monaco and ran for three performances.The story is set in Valencia in the early 17th century when Philip III decreed the expulsion of the Moriscos (the descendants of the Moors) from Spain. Ghislanzoni's libretto was based on Piquillo Alliaga, a novel by Eugène Scribe.Following the world premiere in Monaco, the opera was performed the following July at the Arena di Milano conducted by Antonio Guarneri, and received further performances in January 1915 at the Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona. Although warmly received by the audiences in Monaco, Milan and Cremona, I Mori di Valenza has never been revived. However, a full-length recording of the opera was made in Cremona in 2007 and released on the Bongiovanni label the following year.Karel Štefl
Karel Štefl (born 27 February 1982 in Slaný) is a Czech pair skater.La Gioconda (opera)
La Gioconda is an opera in four acts by Amilcare Ponchielli set to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito (as Tobia Gorrio), based on Angelo, Tyrant of Padua, a play in prose by Victor Hugo, dating from 1835. (This is the same source as Gaetano Rossi had used for his libretto for Mercadante's Il giuramento in 1837).
First performed in 1876, La Gioconda was a major success for Ponchielli, as well as the most successful new Italian opera between Verdi's Aida (1871) and Otello (1887). It is also a famous example of the Italian genre of Grande opera, the equivalent of French Grand-Opéra.
Ponchielli revised the work several times; the version that is played today was first given in 1880. There are several complete recordings of the opera, and it is regularly performed, especially in Italy. It is one of only a few operas that features a principal role for each of the six major voice types.List of operas by Amilcare Ponchielli
This is a complete list of the operas of the Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli (1834–1886).Marco Enrico Bossi
Marco Enrico Bossi (April 25, 1861 in Salò – February 20, 1925) was an Italian organist, composer, improviser and pedagogue (See: List of music students by teacher: A to B#Marco Enrico Bossi.).Matteo Salvi
Matteo Salvi (24 November 1816 – 18 October 1887 ) was a composer of opera and classical music and a theatre director.
Salvi was born in Botta di Sedrina (Provincia di Bergamo), Italy. A student of Gaetano Donizetti, he is best known for having completed the score of Donizetti’s unfinished opera Le duc d’Albe for its first public performance in 1882, some forty years after Donizetti’s death. (The libretto was translated into Italian, and the opera was performed as Il duca d’Alba.) Salvi is usually credited as the composer of the tenor aria “Angelo casto e bel” in Il duca d’Alba, although as he was helped in the reconstruction of Donizetti’s score by several composers, including Amilcare Ponchielli, there has been some dispute as to the degree to which he was the aria’s sole composer. He died in Rieti, Italy.Paderno Ponchielli
Paderno Ponchielli (Soresinese: Padèrnu; Cremunés: Padérnu) is a comune in the province of Cremona, in Lombardy, northern Italy.
Before the unification of Italy in 1861, the town was known just as Paderno. After unification, the new government called on various municipalities with the same name to adjust and differentiate them. “Fasolaro” got added to the name Paderno. However, this did not meet with universal public approval as the word alluded to the production of common cowpeas (black-eyed peas) widespread in the area, which was considered as a possiblr source of mockery in neighboring communities.
In 1878, Umberto I, King of Italy, changed the name from Paderno Fasolaro to Paderno Cremonese. In 1928, when Paderno merged with the neighboring Ossolaro, the area took the name Paderno Ossolaro. Then, in 1934, with the celebration of 100th birthday of their native son, the composer Amilcare Ponchielli, the citizens petitioned to change the name to Paderno Ponchielli to honor him. On November 25, 1950, by a decree of the President of the Republic, Luigi Einaudi, the municipality came to be officially called Paderno Ponchielli.Pasquale Bona
Pasquale Bona (Cerignola, November 3, 1808 – Milan, December 2, 1878) was an Italian composer. He studied music in Palermo. He composed a number of operas, including one based on the Schiller play that would later inspire Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos. Bona later taught at the Conservatory in Milan, where he counted among his pupils Amilcare Ponchielli, Arrigo Boito, Franco Faccio and Alfredo Catalani; he was also friends with Alessandro Manzoni.Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni (Italian: [ˈpjɛːtro anˈtɔːnjo ˈsteːfano masˈkaɲɲi] (listen); 7 December 1863 – 2 August 1945) was an Italian composer best known for his operas, such as his 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria Rusticana which caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music. While it was often held that Mascagni, like Ruggiero Leoncavallo, was a "one-opera man" who could never repeat his first success, L'amico Fritz and Iris have remained in the repertoire in Europe (especially Italy) since their premieres. Mascagni said that at one point, Iris was performed in Italy more often than Cavalleria (cf. Stivender).
Mascagni wrote fifteen operas, an operetta, several orchestral and vocal works, and also songs and piano music. He enjoyed immense success during his lifetime, both as a composer and conductor of his own and other people's music. He created a variety of styles in his operas: a Sicilian passion and warmth of Cavalleria, the exotic flavor of Iris, the idylls of L'amico Fritz and Lodoletta, the Gallic chiaroscuro of Isabeau, the steely, Veristic power of Il piccolo Marat and the over-ripe post-romanticism of the lush Parisina.Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn
Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn (German: Sommernachtskonzert) is an annual free entry outdoor concert in Vienna held by the Vienna Philharmonic. The venue for the concert is the Schönbrunn Palace. It has telecast on PBS in the United States.The concert began operations in 2004. Rolex began sponsoring it in 2009. As of around that year the concert has crowds of over 100,000.The concert has performed works by Alexander Borodin, Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Modest Mussorgsky, Niccolò Paganini, Amilcare Ponchielli, Jean Sibelius, Johann Strauss, Richard Strauss, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Giuseppe Verdi, and Richard Wagner. The concert invariably ends with Wiener Blut, by Johann Strauss IITeatro Comunale Ponchielli
The Teatro Comunale Ponchielli, as it has been known since 1986, is an opera house located in Cremona, Italy. For more than 250 years it has been that city's primary venue for opera and other theatrical presentations.
The original theatre, built in 1747, was named the Teatro Nazari, but it was renamed as the Teatro della Società in 1785. It was sometimes referred to as the Nobile Associazione. After the original theatre burned down in 1806, construction began on the present theatre soon after. The current theatre was designed by Luigi Canonica and it opened in 1808 under the name the Teatro della Concordia. Its name was changed again to the Teatro Ponchielli in 1907 after the famous native of Cremona, Amilcare Ponchielli.
In 1986 the theatre was purchased by the city of Cremona which renamed it once again as it is known today. The opening performance took place on 4 October and featured performances on the city-owned Stradivarius "Il Cremonese" and Guarneri "del Gesu" violins of 1715 and 1734 respectively.With its original horseshoe-shaped auditorium, the theatre was remodeled in 1989 to create three box tiers and two galleries with a total of 1,249 seats.Teresina Brambilla
Teresina (Teresa) Brambilla (15 April 1845 – 1 July 1921) was an Italian soprano who sang in the major opera houses of Europe in a career spanning 25 years. She was particularly noted for her interpretations of the leading roles in operas by Amilcare Ponchielli whom she married in 1874.