The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera

By John Warrack; Ewan West | Go to book overview


Lablache, Luigi (b Naples, 6 Dec. 1794; d Naples, 23 Jan. 1858). Italian bass. Studied Naples with Valente. Début Naples, T San Carlino, 1812 ( Palma Erede senza eredità). Palermo 1813-17; Milan, S. 1817-24; Vienna 1824; Naples, C, 1824-30; London, H and HM, 1830-2, 1835-52. Paris, I, 1830, and regularly until 1851; St Petersburg 1852; London, CG, 1854-6. A highly influential figure in the history of opera; his enormous repertory included Leporello; Geronimo (Matrimonio segreto); Rossini's Doctor Bartolo, Dandini, Figaro, Assur; Donizetti's Henry VIII, Podestà, Baldassare: the creation of numerous roles, including his celebrated Don Pasquale, Marin Faliero, Lord Walton (Puritani), Massimiliano (Verdi's I masnadieti); and leading parts in other works by Bellini, Donizetti, Mercadante, Pacini, Vaccai, Mosca, Balfe, etc. Magnificent of voice and person, he possessed a large range, great vocal flexibility, and a genius for both the comic and the tragic that led Lumley to declare him 'the greatest dramatic singer of our time'; Chorley also praised his sensitivity, and his ,entire avoidance of grossness'. Though becoming gigantically fat, he was still robust and vocally fresh at 60. Among his numerous admirers were Schubert (who dedicated three Italian songs, Op. 83, to him), Wagner, and several monarchs, Tsar Alexander I, Ferdinand I, and Queen Victoria (who took lessons from him). Of his 13 children, a son, Federico, was also an operatic singer, and a daughter, Francesca, married the pianist Sigismond Thalberg.

La Borde, Jean-Benjamin de (b Paris, 5 Sept. 1734; d Paris, 22 July 1794). French composer and violinist. Studied with Rameau and Dauvergne and wrote his first stage work, La chercheuse, aged only 14. His first success was Gilles ( 1758): 1758-73 he composed c.30 dramatic works which embraced both opéra-comique and tragédie lyrique. Always an amateur musician, he was briefly governor of the Louvre; during the French Revolution his home was destroyed and he was guillotined.

In his serious works, which included Ismène ( 1763) and Amadis de Gaule ( 1771), he demonstrated a clear debt to Lully, without approaching similar depths of expression. More successful were his opéras-comiques, such as Candide ( 1768), Le billet de matiage ( 1772), and Jeannot et Collin ( 1770), where the influence of the Italian style is noteworthy. Though popular, his works did not enjoy a good critical reception. Today he is remembered more for his seminal Essai sur la musique ancienne et moderne ( 1780).

Labroca, Mario (b Rome, 22 Nov. 1896; d Rome, 1 July 1973). Italian composer, administrator, and critic. Studied Parma with Respighi and Malipiero. Artistic dir. Florence Maggio Musicale 1936-44. Organized seasons of contemporary opera, Milan, S, and Rome, R, 1942. Administrator Venice, F, 1946-7, 1959-73, Milan, S, 1947-9. Dir. RAI 1949-58, during which period he arranged for Furtwängler to conduct The Ring. His music includes two children's operas.

Laca. Laca Klemeñ (ten), stepbrother of, keva Burya, in Janaek Jenfa.

La calinda. Dance in Act II of Delius Koanga. Sometimes also known as calenda, the original dance was regarded as obscene and was at times banned.

'La calunnia'. Don Basilio's (bs) aria in Act I of Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia, in which he describes the growth of slander from a tiny breeze to a gale that can blast a man's reputation.

Lachner, Franz (b Rain am Lech, 2 Apr. 1803; d Munich, 20 Jan. 1890). German conductor. Studied with his father, Vienna with Sechter. Assistant cond. Vienna, K 1827, chief cond. 1829-34. Mannheim 1834-6. Munich 1836, music dir. 1852-68. The real fame of the Munich O dates from his directorship. At first a great opponent of Wagner and his music, he was persuaded to produce Tannhäuser 1855, Lohengrin 1858, and behaved generously to Wagner. He was also a prolific composer, his operas including Catarina Cornaro ( 1841) and Benvenuto Cellini ( 1849).

Lachnith, Ludwig (b Prague, 7 July 1746; d Paris, 3 Oct. 1820). Bohemian composer. Studied Paris with Philidor. He was notorious as an arranger of famous operas to suit


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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Key to Vocal Compasses x
  • Abbreviations xi
  • A 1
  • B 28
  • C 72
  • D 112
  • E 144
  • F 157
  • G 181
  • H 218
  • I 241
  • J 251
  • K 259
  • L 277
  • M 305
  • N 356
  • O 370
  • P 384
  • Q 419
  • R 421
  • S 449
  • T 505
  • U 525
  • V 529
  • W 545
  • X 563
  • Y 564
  • Z 565


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