Domènec Terradellas

Domènec Terradellas (baptized 13 February 1713, Barcelona – 20 May 1751, Rome) was a Catalan opera composer. The birthdate is sometimes incorrectly given as 1711.[1] Carreras i Bulbena did extensive research in contemporary documents, such as baptismal records, and found that the correct date was 1713. All his works are thoroughly Italian in style.

Domenec Terradellas
Engraving of Tarradellas in L'Avens, a Catalan magazine, in 1884


Born in Barcelona, the son of a day laborer,[2] his early musical training is unknown. It has been said that Terradellas studied with the composer Francisco Valls in Barcelona, but Carreras i Bulbena's research in Barcelona uncovered no evidence of this. On 23 May 1732, he entered in Naples as a student in the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo.[3] He studied composition with the famous Neapolitan composer, Francesco Durante.[4]

Terradellas was one of a group of foreign-born composers who studied in Italy and adopted the Italian style. The reason for this is that Italian opera was by far the dominant genre of opera at this time, attracting composers from all across Europe: (George Frideric Handel, Johann Adolph Hasse, Johann Christian Bach (all Germans), Thomas Arne (an Englishman), Josef Mysliveček (a Czech), and Vicente Martín y Soler (a Spaniard).

His first work, an oratorio, Giuseppe Riconosciuto , with text by Metastasio was first performed in Naples in 1736. The musicologist Felipe Pedrell reported seeing the manuscript in the library of San Giacomo in Rome in 1898. The library was catalogued shortly after his visit, but when he returned in 1902, the score was missing and was not listed in the catalogue.[5] This was probably a student work, because a note in the archives, dated May 1736, states that "Il figliolo Terradellas è sempre in conservatorio" (Terradellas is still (a student) at the conservatory.)[6] Terradellas's first opera was Astarto was performed at Rome in 1739 during the Carnival season. He may have collaborated with Gaetano Latilla on an opera Romolo, performed in Naples during the same year, but the libretto names only Latilla as the composer.[7]

A serenata, La Cerere, was performed in Rome in 1740, probably privately for a group of clergymen, and the three-act comic opera Gl'intrichi delle cantarine was performed in Naples during the same season. Carreras does not mention Cerere, but the libretto in the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., attests to Terradellas's authorship and the date of performance. Carreras also mentions operas for which no documentation has been found. The operas are Artemesia, said to have been performed in Rome in 1739, and Issipile, supposedly performed in Florence in 1742.

San Giacomo e San Ildefonso degli Spagnuoli is a church established for Spanish residents in Rome. This church was already quite old in 1743,[8] because Spaniards had been coming to Rome for centuries. Terradellas was approved as Maestro di Capella by the congregation of that church on 1 May 1743 with a salary of 10 scudi per month. During his tenure, he composed at least four masses, a half dozen motets, as well as other short works for the service.[9] Later, trouble developed between Terradellas and one of his subordinates, and Terradellas was dismissed in August 1745 after two years and three months.[10]

His opera, La Merope, was performed during the Carnival of 1743. Alfred Loewenberg, in the Annals of Opera, lists three other performances of this opera, but provides no documentation. The dates given are Florence, Carnival of 1743 and revived there 26 December 1749; Livorno during the Carnival of 1744; and Ancona during the Carnival of 1746.[11] Since there are two extant manuscripts of this opera, it seems possible that there was at least one other performance. A libretto in the library of Santa Cecilia names Terradellas as the composer of a Merope, performed in Florence in 1750, but the attribution is only written in pencil on the flyleaf facing the title page. Comparison of this libretto with that of 1743 casts serious doubt on its authenticity. The 1750 libretto has 22 arias, only five of which have the same text as the arias in the 1743 libretto.

During the Carnival of 1744, his Artaserse was performed in Venice. Loewenberg states that this opera was given on several other Italian stages,[12] but no documentation has been found. The manuscript in Venice is dated 1744. Terradellas's most productive years were during his tenure at San Giacomo, as evidenced by the two operas and the impressive list of religious works. These two operas, while very different in several stylistic features, are very representative works. Certainly, two finer works than these would be difficult to find.

Terradellas's setting of "Semiramide" was performed during the Carnival of 1746 in Florence. It is interesting that six arias from this opera were published by Walsh in London, while only two manuscript arias have been found in continental libraries. These arias were evidently taken by him when he traveled to London a few months later and were incorporated, along with arias from Merope and Artaserse in the collection Dudici arid e due duetti. This is one of only three publications of music by Terradellas during his lifetime, which is certainly a plus for London's musical scene. The other two were the arias from "Mitridate" and "Bellerofonte" also published by John Walsh in London in his "Favorite Songs" series.

The artistic climate in London was quite different from that of Italy. Italy was the hub (so to speak) of operatic activity with its most important theaters in Rome, Naples, Venice and Florence, although every town of any size had an opera theater. London, on the other hand, was fairly remote from the opera centers at this time. Even Handel, who was backed by the king, experienced difficulty from time to time. Opera did not have the long and continuous history in London that it had in Italy, and therefore it did not flourish as in Italy. Events of the preceding seasons led to Terradellas's sojourn in England.

Lampugnani left London during June 1744 after several very successful seasons. Lord Middlesex, then producing operas at the Haymarket Theatre, was faced with the task of bringing from the continent a comparable talent. Gluck came to London during the autumn of 1745. On January 7, 1746, La Caduta dei giganti with the libretto by the Abbate Francesco Vanneschi, was performed. It was in reality a pasticcio (made up of pieces from various operas) with arias borrowed from the composer's earlier operas, Tigrane, Ipermestra, and Sofonisba. The opera was repeated no more than five times, a clear case of failure. During March his Artamene was performed with arias from Demoföonte, Tigrane and Sofonisba, the libretto having been written by Bartolomeo Vitturi for Tommaso Albinoni (Venice, 1740) and arranged by Francesco Vanneschi for London. This opera was even less successful than the first. [13]

Charles Burney notes the indifference of the public toward opera in London during these years, when their interests were being absorbed by native playwrights such as Colley Cibber. Any opera venture during these years was to prove unfortunate for the producer. Handel had learned this unfortunate lesson several years earlier. As Horace Walpole said in a letter dated December 5, 1746,

We have operas, but no company at them; the Prince and Lord Middlesex impresarii. Plays only are in fashion: at one house the best company that perhaps ever were together, Quinn, Garrick, Mrs.Pritchard, and Mrs. Cibber. [14]

Letters and other literature of the period attest to the vast financial losses suffered by producers of opera. Lord Middlesex had a passion for producing operas, and he was willing to sacrifice his own fortune and the fortunes of others to bring new works to the stage. He invited Terradellas to come to London for the 1746-47 season. His arrival was celebrated by the inclusion of one of his arias, Merope II,12 (Artaserse II,7) in the pasticcio, Anibale in Capua. This opera was the first of four subscriptions planned by Lord Middlesex and his partners, six nights in November, ten in December, seventeen in January (not involving Terradellas), and fourteen in March.[15]

Anibale, as with the following operas, was performed on Tuesday and Saturday nights. The exact dates were as follows: [16] Tuesday, November 4, Saturday, November 8, Tuesday, November 18, Saturday, November 22, Tuesday, November 25, and Saturday, November 29. The performances began at 6:00 P.M., and the opera included ballet. For the third performance, the advertisement announced the inclusion of some new arias. On December 2, 1746, the rehearsal of Mitridate was announced. Nothing is known of the life of Terradellas for the next three years. The several liturgical works in the church of St. Gudule in Brussels may offer a hint as to what Terradellas might have been doing during this period.

The subscribers to the second subscription for operas, are desired to take notice, that on Thursday morning next will be a General Rehearsal of the new opera called Mitridate upon the stage, agreeable to the printed Proposals, and doors will be open'd at Ten, and the Rehearsal will begin at Eleven of the Clock. No persons will be admitted without a Subscriber's ticket, and each ticket will admit four persons. [17]


Operas (in chronological order)

  • Astarto (Rome, 1739)
  • La Cerere (1740)
  • Gl'intrichi delle cantarine (Naples, 1740)
  • La Merope (Rome, 1743)
  • Artaserse (Venice, 1744)
  • Semiramide (Florence, 1746)
  • Mitridate (London, 1746)
  • Bellerofonte (London, 1747)
  • La Didone (Turin, 1750)
  • Imeneo in Atene (Venice, 1750)
  • Sesostri (Rome, 1751) (There was another performance of Sesostri in Barcelona in 1754 with some aria substitutions)

Works for religious services (Rome, Iglesia National de España)

  • 3 Masses
  • Praestantissime
  • O Diem
  • Luminosa
  • Beatus vir
  • Confitebor
  • Credidi
  • Dixit Dominus
  • Laudate
  • Laetatus sum
  • Domine ad adjuvandum
  • Sat laetitae
  • other brief liturgical works



  1. ^ This date was given by Burney
  2. ^ Carreras i Bulbena, p. 11n
  3. ^ Salvatore di Giacomo, I quattro antichi conservatorii di musica a Napoli. (Naples: Remo Sandron, 1928), vol. 2, pp. 118f.
  4. ^ According to C. Burney, A General History of Music [1935}, p. 926n
  5. ^ Felipe Pedrell, "Musics vells de la terra", Revista Musical Catalana June–August, 1908
  6. ^ Pedrell, p. 119
  7. ^ The libretto of this opera is in the Liceo Musicale, Bologna
  8. ^ Robert Stevenson, Spanish Cathedral Music (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961), pp. 16, 355
  9. ^ Joan Roca, "La producció musical de Doménec Terradelles..." Revista Musical Catalana, August 1934, pp. 305–314
  10. ^ Carreras i Bulbena, pp. 19–22
  11. ^ Loewenberg, Annals of Opera, pp. 199–200
  12. ^ Loewenberg, p. 201
  13. ^ Einstein, pp. 35–37
  14. ^ Burney, p. 846
  15. ^ Burney, p. 846
  16. ^ Van Lennep, Part 3, Vol.2, pp. 1260–67
  17. ^ Van Lennep, p. 1268


  • Burney, Charles. A General History of Music (with critical and historical notes by Frank Mercer). New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1935]. (This work was originally published in London in four volumes between 1774 and 1789.)
  • Carreras i Bulbena, J. R. Domènech Terradellas: Compositor de la XVIII Centuria. Barcelona: Altès, 1908.
  • Einstein, Alfred. Gluck. (New York: Collier Books, 1962)
  • Giacomo, Salvatori di. I Quattri Antichi Conservatorii di Napoli (2 vols.). Naples: Sandron, 1924 and 1928.
  • Groeppe, Kenneth H. Form and Style in the Arias of Domingo Terradellas. unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Louisville, 1968. (This is the work upon which most of this article is based.)
  • Loewenberg, Alfred. Annals of Opera 1597–1940 (with supplement). Genève: Societas Bibliographica, 1955.
  • Pedrell, Felipe. Musics vells de la Terra: Domingo Miquel Bernabé Tarradellas (sic), Revista Musical Catalana, Any V, pp. 54–56, June–August 1908.
  • Roca, Joan. "La producció musical de Doménec Terrdelles…", Revista Musical Catalana, August 1934, pp. 305–314.
  • Van Lennep, William. The London Stage: 1660-1800. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1965) (8 vols.)
  • L'Avens magazine, No. 22 (January 1884), p. 126

1711 (MDCCXI)

was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar, the 1711th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 711th year of the 2nd millennium, the 11th year of the 18th century, and the 2nd year of the 1710s decade. As of the start of 1711, the Gregorian calendar was

11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923. In the Swedish calendar it was a common year starting on Sunday, one day ahead of the Julian and ten days behind the Gregorian calendar.



was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar, the 1713th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 713th year of the 2nd millennium, the 13th year of the 18th century, and the 4th year of the 1710s decade. As of the start of 1713, the Gregorian calendar was

11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.


1751 (MDCCLI)

was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1751st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 751st year of the 2nd millennium, the 51st year of the 18th century, and the 2nd year of the 1750s decade. As of the start of 1751, the Gregorian calendar was

11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923. In Britain and its colonies, 1751 only had 282 days due to the Calendar Act of 1750.


Artaserse is the name of a number of Italian operas, all based on a text by Metastasio. Artaserse is the Italian form of the name of the king Artaxerxes I of Persia.

There are over 90 known settings of Metastasio's text. The libretto was originally written for, and first set to music by Leonardo Vinci in 1730 for Rome (Artaserse). It was subsequently set by Johann Adolph Hasse in 1730 (Artaserse) for Venice and in 1760 for Naples, by Christoph Willibald Gluck in 1741 for Milan, by Pietro Chiarini in 1741 for Verona, by Carl Heinrich Graun in 1743 for Stuttgart, by Domènec Terradellas in 1744 for Venice, by Baldassare Galuppi in 1749 for Vienna, by Johann Christian Bach in 1760 for Turin, by Josef Mysliveček in 1774 for Naples (Artaserse), by Marcos Portugal in 1806 for Lisbon and many other times. The text was often altered.

Thomas Arne's 1762 Artaxerxes is set to an English libretto that is based on Metastasio's. Mozart's aria for soprano and orchestra "Conservati fedele" (K. 23, 1765) is set to the parting verses of Mandane (Artaserse's sister) at the end of the first scene.

The opera was famously performed in 1734 as a pastiche of songs by various composers such as Johann Adolf Hasse, Attilio Ariosti, Nicola Porpora and Riccardo Broschi. It was in this that Broschi's brother, Farinelli, sang one of his best-known arias, "Son qual nave ch'agitata".


Catalonia (; Catalan: Catalunya [kətəˈluɲə]; Aranese: Catalonha [kataˈluɲɔ]; Spanish: Cataluña [kataˈluɲa];) is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia (with the remainder Roussillon now part of France's Pyrénées-Orientales, Occitanie). It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra (Andorra la Vella, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana and Sant Julià de Lòria) to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions. The eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, and were later called Catalonia. In the 10th century the County of Barcelona became independent de facto. In 1137, the lineages of the rulers of Catalonia and rulers of the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon, when the King of Aragon married his daughter to the Count of Barcelona. The de jure end of Frankish rule was ratified by French and Aragonese rulers in the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258. The Principality of Catalonia developed its own institutional system, such as courts (parliament), and constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown of Aragon's naval power, trade and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the later Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. During the last Medieval centuries natural disasters, social turmoils and military conflicts affected the Principality. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile married and ruled their kingdoms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation.

During the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659), Catalonia revolted (1640–1652) against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army in its territory, being briefly proclaimed a republic under French protection. Within a brief period France took full control of Catalonia, until it was largely reconquered by the Spanish army. Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Spanish Crown ceded the northern parts of Catalonia, mostly the County of Roussillon, to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), the Crown of Aragon sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain; following Catalan defeat on 11 September 1714, Philip V, inspired by the model of France imposed a unifying administration across Spain, enacting the Nueva Planta decrees, suppressing the main Catalan institutions and rights like in the other realms of the Crown of Aragon. This led to the eclipse of Catalan as a language of government and literature, replaced by Spanish. Along the 18th century, Catalonia experienced economic growth, reinforced in the late quarter of the century when the Castile's trade monopoly with American colonies ended.

In the 19th century, Catalonia was severely affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second half of the century, Catalonia experienced significant industrialisation. As wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a commonwealth, and with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939), the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored as an autonomous government. After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan self-government and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. After a first period of autarky, from the late 1950s through to the 1970s Catalonia saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia into a major tourist destination. Since the Spanish transition to democracy (1975–1982), Catalonia has regained considerable autonomy in political, educational, environmental, and cultural affairs and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain. In the 2010s there has been growing support for Catalan independence.

On 27 October 2017, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain following a disputed referendum. The Spanish Senate voted in favour of enforcing direct rule by removing the entire Catalan government and calling a snap regional election for 21 December. On 2 November of the same year, the Spanish Supreme Court imprisoned 7 former ministers of the Catalan government on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, while several others, including President Carles Puigdemont, fled to other European countries.

List of Classical-era composers

This is a list of composers of the Classical music era, roughly from 1730 to 1820. Prominent composers of the Classical era include Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Stamitz, Joseph Haydn, Johann Christian Bach, Antonio Salieri, Muzio Clementi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Luigi Boccherini, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert.

List of historical opera characters

This is a list of historical figures who have been characters in opera or operetta.

Historical accuracy in such works has often been subject to the imperatives of dramatic presentation. Consequently, in many cases:

historical characters appear alongside fictional characters

historical characters who never met, or whose lives did not even overlap, appear on stage together

historical events depicted are transported to earlier or later times or to different places

historical people are seen participating in entirely fictional events, or vice versa

the actions of historical people are attributed to other personsFor the purposes of this list, Biblical characters are generally taken to be fictional, unless there is clear evidence of their historicity.

Operas appear in bold when the historical figure is also the title role.

Where a character appears in more than opera, the entries are sorted by composer.

List of operas by composer

This is a list of individual opera composers and their major works.

The list includes composers' principal operas and those of historical importance in the development of the art form. It covers the full historical period from the birth of opera in the late 16th century to the present day, and includes all forms of opera from light music to more formal styles.

Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara

The Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara de Barcelona orchestra (RCOC) (English "Royal Chamber Opera Company from Barcelona", Catalan "Reial Companyía Òpera de Cambra de Barcelona") is a Spanish early music ensemble based in Barcelona. It was founded by its conductor Juan Bautista Otero. The orchestra has been instrumental in reviving several long unperformed baroque operas.

Semiramide riconosciuta

Semiramide riconosciuta (Semiramis recognized or revealed) is an opera libretto by Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782), written in 1729. It is for opera seria, and accordingly consists of recitatives and da capo arias. It tells a story of the legendary Semiramis, wife of the Biblical Nimrod.

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