(fl mid-17th century). Italian composer. He is known by Missae, motetta, litaniae B. Virginis, cum quatuor eius solennibus antiphonis for two to five voices and instruments, op.2 (Antwerp, 1652), and by four other sacred pieces (in RISM 16593).
(b Bergamo, ?1706; d Jersbeck [now Segeberg], nr Hamburg, 21 April 1776). Italian singer and composer. He was a castrato soprano and enjoyed considerable fame in Italy and Germany. His earliest known appearances were in Venice in 1726; between 1728 and 1730 he sang in the Italian opera at Breslau, where he contributed some arias to the pasticcio Merope. He had returned to Venice by 1732; three years later he became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and by 1739 he was in the service of the Duke of Modena (late librettos describe him as the duke's maestro di cappella, but this claim has not been substantiated). In the summer of 1743 he joined the opera company of the impresario Pietro Mingotti in Linz, and appears never to have returned to Italy. In October the company moved to Hamburg where it gave regular seasons until 1747. Hamburg's German opera had closed in 1738, and Mingotti's company offered the first extended seasons of new Italian works, both serious and comic: opere serie and intermezzos, including La serva padrona, were regularly performed. Partly because of the singing of Finazzi, Francesco Arrigoni (another castrato) and the soprano Rosa Costa, the Italian opera was at first very successful and was patronized by members of the Danish court at Altona. From the evidence of cast lists, however, Finazzi appears not to have been a regular member of Mingotti's company after 1744, when he both composed for the company and toured with it to Prague and Leipzig; thereafter he sang only occasionally in Hamburg and made his last known stage appearance in February 1746 in the title role of his own Temistocle.
City records show that in 1746 he adopted the Protestant religion and became a resident of Hamburg; later documents, which also imply his year of birth, suggest that he supported himself for the next ten years by teaching. In 1756 he acquired a small country estate in Jersbeck, near Hamburg, where he was cared for by a housekeeper, a local blacksmith's widow, Gertrud Steinmetz, for the education of whose sons Finazzi made himself responsible; she nursed him after an accident in which he broke both legs. In 1761 the singer proposed to marry her but, because of his anomalous sexual condition, an act of the Hamburg senate was required for the ceremony to take place, in 1762. The state documents attested to Finazzi's good character and decent life, and according to Gerber both his character and his cultivation of mind were such as to win him friends within Hamburg's upper circle of society, including the poet Friedrich von Hagedorn, Baron von Ahlefeld, friend and counsellor of the King of Denmark, and (according to Stephenson) G.P. Telemann.
Most of Finazzi's operatic music is lost. Schmitz regarded his surviving cantatas as belonging to the Neapolitan school of virtuoso music, somewhat conservative in vocal style and unadventurous in instrumental accompaniment, but nevertheless containing ‘numerous lively, fresh details’ in the writing.