Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

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Ferrara, Franco

(b Palermo, 4 July 1911; d Florence, 6 Sept 1985). Italian conductor and teacher. After studying the piano, the violin, the organ and composition at the conservatories of Palermo and Bologna, he made his conducting début in Florence in 1938, and quickly acquired a reputation as one of the outstanding talents of his generation. But his career was cut short by a nervous illness, and he devoted himself to teaching, giving celebrated courses at the Accademia di S Cecilia in Rome and, from 1966, at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. Among his students were Riccardo Chailly, Edo de Waart and Andrew Davis.


Ferrarese [Ferraresi, Ferrarese del Bene], Adriana [Andreanna, Andriana]

(b Valvasan o [now Friuli], 19 Sept 1759; d after 1803). Italian soprano. As a student at the Ospedale dei Mendicanti in Venice from 1778 to 1782 she sang in oratorio. She has long been identified with a Francesca Gabrielli, ‘detta la Ferrarese’, whom Burney heard at the Ospedaletto in Venice in 1770; Gerber may have been the first to assume that Burney's Gabrielli and Adriana Ferrarese were one and the same, but no solid evidence links them. She eloped with Luigi del Bene in December 1782, appeared in a serious opera in Livorno during autumn 1784 and Livorno before arriving in London in 1785. During her two years there she sang initially in serious opera and then, because she was overshadowed in that genre by Mara, in comic, where she was assigned the serious roles. By autumn 1786 she was back in Italy, where she sang exclusively in opera seria.

Ferrarese made her Vienna début on 13 October 1788 as Diana in Martín y Soler's L'arbore di Diana, in which she sang two substitute arias; the Rapport von Wien remarked: ‘connoisseurs of music claim that in living memory no such voice has sounded within Vienna's walls. One pities only that the acting of this artist did not come up to her singing’. She went on to sing Eurilla in Salieri's La cifra (1789) and her most famous role, Mozart's Fiordiligi (26 January 1790). Her tenure of 30 months coincided with the peak of Lorenzo da Ponte's influence; she was dismissed with Da Ponte, with whom she was romantically involved, in early 1791, and continued her career, in serious opera, throughout Italy until the turn of the century.

Music written for Ferrarese tends to emphasize fioriture, cantar di sbalzo (large leaps) and the low end of her range. Adaptations of existing music for revivals and new music written for her tend to enhance the serious style at the expense of the comic, but her success with the Viennese suggests that she could also interact effectively with comic characters in recitative and ensembles. Nonetheless, her strength lay in her purely vocal abilities, which Weigl (Il pazzo per forza) and Salieri (La cifra) in particular exploited in the music they wrote for her. Her singing won much praise, notably from Count Karl Zinzendorf, who wrote that ‘La Ferrarese chanta à merveille’ (27 February 1789). The casting of Ferrarese as Susanna for the 1789 revival of Le nozze di Figaro met with only qualified enthusiasm from Mozart, who wrote that ‘the little aria [k577] I have made for Ferrarese I believe will please, if she is capable of singing it in an artless manner, which I very much doubt’ (19 August 1789); he also composed a large-scale rondò, k579, to replace ‘Deh, vieni, non tardar’. As Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte her vain temperament and formidable vocal resources were exploited to perfection by Da Ponte and Mozart, creating a rigid seria character who is the object of comic intrigue.



O. Michtner: Das alte Burgtheather als Opernbühne (Vienna, 1970)

F.C. Petty: Italian Opera in London, 1760–1800 (Ann Arbor, 1980)

J.A. Rice: ‘Rondò vocali di Salieri e Mozart per Adriana Ferrarese’, I vicini di Mozart: Venice 1987, 185–209

P. Lewy Gidwitz: Vocal Profiles of Four Mozart Sopranos (diss., U. of California, Berkeley, 1991)

P. Lewy Gidwitz: ‘Mozart’s Fiordiligi: Adriana Ferrarese del Bene’, COJ, viii (1996), 199–214

D. Link: The National Court Theatre in Mozart's Vienna: Sources and Documents 1783–1792 (Oxford, 1998)

J.A. Rice: Antonio Salien and Viennese Opera (Chicago, 1998)

L. Nassimbeni: Paganini, Rossini e la Ferrarese (Udine, 1999)


Ferrarese, Paolo [Paolo da Ferrara]

(fl 1565). Italian composer. He published one book of music, the Passiones, Lamentationes (Venice, 1565). The printing contract for this book survives and provides rare insight into the production and distribution of printed music during the Renaissance. The contract was drawn up between the printer, Girolamo Scotto, and the agent of the Benedictine monastery of S Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, where Paolo was a monk. The many details enumerated in the document include the rate of production (no less than one sheet per day) and the number of books to be produced (500). Copies of the book were offered for sale at the Frankfurt book fair within a few months of the printing.




A. Göhler: Die Messkataloge im Dienste der musikalischen Geschichtsforschung (Leipzig, 1901)

R.J. Agee: ‘A Venetian Music Printing Contract and Edition Size in the Sixteenth Century’, Studi musicali, xv (1986), 59–65

J.A. Bernstein: Music Printing in Renaissance Venice: the Scotto Press (1539–1572) (New York, 1998)


Ferrari, Antonio.

See Ferraro, Antonio.

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