Gian Carlo Menotti

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Menotti, Gian Carlo


Born July 7, 1911, in Cadegliano, Italy. American composer; founder of the modern American opera.

Although he has lived in the USA since 1928, Menotti has retained his Italian citizenship. He studied at the Milan Conservatory (1923-27) and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (1927-33), where he began teaching in 1941. Menotti wrote the librettos for most of his operas, which are stylistically reminiscent of verismo. However, he has also composed atonal music.

Menotti was influenced by Verdi and Puccini, as well as by M. P. Mussorgsky, from whom he borrowed the practice of writing recitatives to express tense situations in the plot. Many of Menotti’s operas are distinguished by a combination of drama and humor. They are written for a small orchestra (an ensemble of soloists) and do not call for a chorus. Among his best operas are the one-act opera buffa Amelia Goes to the Ball (1936, Philadelphia), The Old Maid and the Thief (produced for radio, 1939; 1941, Philadelphia), The Island God (1942, New York), and The Medium, the most important production of which was staged in 1946 in New York. Also among his most outstanding operas are The Telephone (1947, New York), Amahl and the Night Visitors (television, 1951), The Consul (1950), Martin’s Lie (1964), and The Most Important Man in the World (1971). His other compositions include the ballet Sebastian (1943), the oratorio Death of the Bishop From Brindisi (1963), the symphonic poem Apocalypse (1951), concerti for piano (1945) and violin (1952), a triple concerto (1970), chamber ensembles, and various works for piano.

References in periodicals archive ?
Composer Gian Carlo Menotti infused the sweet but often humorous one-act opera with lots of lovely melodies.
In addition, the collection includes correspondence from many of the twentieth century's major musical figures, such as Samuel Barber, John Barbirolli, Bernard Berenson, Ernest Bloch, Katherine Dunham, Eileen Farrell, Jascha Heifetz, Erich Leinsdorf, Lotte Lehmann, Gian Carlo Menotti, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Hans Moldenhauer, Pierre Monteux, Charles Munch, Andre Previn, Harold Schonberg, Andres Segovia, Nicolas Slonimsky, Leopold Stokowski, Arturo Toscanini, and many others.
Halifax Summer Opera Workshop produced two operas written two centuries apart for its 2008 season--The Consul by Gian Carlo Menotti and Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart.
Mass Theatrica is looking to cast all roles, except Baba, in "The Medium," by Gian Carlo Menotti.
A Hand of Bridge,'' composed in 1959 with a libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti, is one of the shortest operas in the repertoire (9 minutes).
Twenty-five years ago, when Early Music published its first issue, "early music" seemed like a cause worth fighting for, a mission to redeem the great works of the past from the abuse of unenlightened performers who sang Carlo Gesualdo with a vocalism more appropriate to Gian Carlo Menotti, who played Johann Sebastian Bach on the piano - a journey into the unlit corners of the repertory to return with pearls unheard for centuries.
Born in Wisconsin in 1926, Hoiby began composing when he was a child, later studying composition with Gian Carlo Menotti at the Curtis Institute.
Off-Broadway he choreographed The Consul in 1947, which was his first production with composer Gian Carlo Menotti, a lifelong friend and collaborator.
With time, composers such as John Cage, Aaron Copland, Norman Dello Joio, Vivian Fine, Hunter Johnson, Norman Lloyd, Gian Carlo Menotti, Robert Starer, to mention only a few who were likewise inspired, discovered in themselves responses to dance that resulted in the joint creation of masterful works.
Opera Lyra Ottawa marked its 20th anniversary in January with a unique pairing of two short operas by Gian Carlo Menotti and a cabaret show at Ottawa's Centrepointe Theatre.
Indeed, this is an ongoing tradition at the CCOC: in previous years, such composers as Harry Somers, John Greer, Derek Holman and even Gian Carlo Menotti have written for the organization.