The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera

By John Warrack; Ewan West | Go to book overview

P

'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

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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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