The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera

By John Warrack; Ewan West | Go to book overview
Save to active project


'Pace, pace mio Dio'. Leonora's (sop) aria in Act IV of Verdi La forza del destino, opening with a long held note on sop, B♭, in which she prays for peace of mind.

Pacini,Giovanni (b Catania, 17 Feb. 1796; d Pescia, 6 Dec. 1867). Italian composer. Son of Luigi Pacini, the first Geronio in Il turco in Italia; began to study singing with Marchesi at the age of 12, and also worked at composition with Mattei and Furnaletto. His first opera, Don Pomponio ( 1813), was not produced, but his second, Annetta e Lucindo, was given in the same year. He continued to pour out operas (a dozen comedies in four years); but his first real success was an opera semiseria, Adelaide e Comingio ( 1817).

In 1820 he went to Rome, where his easy Rossinian manner enabled him to help Rossini himself by composing three numbers for Matilde di Shabran. Many works followed; his Naples début was with Alessandro nell'Indie ( 1824), which had 70 consecutive performances, and after the success of L'ultimo giorno di Pompei in 1825 he became music director of the Naples C. Here he was contracted to compose two operas a year. By 1830 he was one of the most successful opera composers in Italy: in 16 years he had produced almost 40 operas, including 11 corsaro ( 1831) for the inauguration of the rebuilt T Apollo in Rome. Especially after some failures in 1833, he realized that he was threatened by the growing reputation of Bellini and Donizetti. Accordingly he withdrew to found a music school at Viareggio, to which he devoted himself after the failure of Carlo di Borgogna in 1833. He made a comeback after the death of Bellini and retirement of Rossini with Saffo ( 1840), the most successful work in his new, more careful style and indeed his masterpiece. He continued to write successful works, especially La fidanzata corsa ( 1842), Maria, regina d'Inghilterra ( 1843), Medea ( 1843), Lorenzino de' Medici ( 1845), and Bondelmonte ( 1845); but with the rise of Verdi he was once more eclipsed. His last real success was Il saltimbanco ( 1858).

In his early works, Pacini took Rossini as his model, believing this to be the natural and successful way to write Italian opera, and he even copied Rossini's move towards a more serious manner. He was well aware of this, and of his carelessness; he relied on a fluency and dexterity which won him the respect of Rossini and Bellini, above all for his skill in writing singable melodies. In his middle works, he tried to improve on earlier weaknesses in harmony and orchestration; he helped to unify aria, ensemble, and chorus in the years before Verdi. For his pupils he wrote some theoretical treatises, and also left an entertaining autobiography.

Padilla y Ramos, Mariano. See ARTóT, DÉSIRÉE.

Padmâvatî. Opéra-ballet in 2 acts by Roussel; text by Louis Laloy, after an event in 13th-cent. Indian history. Prem. Paris, O, 1 June 1923.

India, 1540. The Mogul sultan Alaouddin (bar) proposes an alliance with Ratan-sen (ten), King of Tchitor. He is well received, but demands Ratan-sen's wife Padmâvatî (mez) as a condition; to this Ratan-sen reluctantly consents. A Brahmin (ten) who later asks for her to be handed over is stoned to death by the crowd riots. Alaouddin defeats Ratan-sen in battle, but rather than have the sin of betraying her rest on her husband's conscience, Padmâvatî stabs him. She therefore has to die on his funeral pyre.

'Padre, germani'. Ilia's (sop) aria in Act II of Mozart Idomeneo, expressing her guilt for loving a Greek, Idomeneo's son Idamante, whom as a Trojan princess she should hate.

Padre Guardiano. The Abbot (bs) of the monastery of Hornachuelos in Verdi La forza del destino.

Paer, Ferdinando (b Parma, 1 June 1771; d Paris, 3 May 1839). Italian composer. Studied Parma with Fortunati and Ghiretti. He won early success with his operas, and was made honorary maestro di capella in 1792; his most important early work was Griselda ( 1798), in the semiseria style that he particularly cultivated. As director of the Vienna, K. 1797-1801, he came to know Beethoven. The most striking successes of this period were Camilla ( 1799) and Achille ( 1801), whose funeral march was not the only


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 571

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?