Gian Carlo Menotti

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet the author and Gian Carlo Menotti (founder and impresario of Spoleto) defend The Last Yankee as a play of hope.
Lara Maigue, Jay Valencia Glorioso and Jon Abella lead the cast of THE MEDIUM - Gian Carlo Menotti's musical thriller staged by MUSICARTES on November 11,13,16 and 18 at the Mirror Theatre Studio in Makati.
It was written as the second movement of the String Quartet, Opus 11, that Barber composed in 1936 during a sojourn in Italy with his partner, Gian Carlo Menotti. But it wasn't performed until two years later, when Arturo Toscanini conducted it at Rockefeller Center in New York for a radio broadcast.
By Gian Carlo Menotti, directed by Sandy Pickens, music director Julie Rawson, choreography by Shelly Stone and Susan Coe Sigler.
You'd be hard pressed to come up with a better holiday show than Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, And it will now be difficult to imagine this one-act chamber opera without the Little Opera Company's choice of Anton Dahl-Sokalski in the title role.The company staged the heartwarming classic last December under the glorious stained-glass windows of Winnipeg's First Presbyterian Church.
In addition to perennial hits like Carmen and Madama Butterfly, the Sarasota Opera gives us two masterworks never before performed on the Opera House stage: Verdi's powerful Otello, featuring Rafael Davila and Maria D'Arnato as the doomed Moor and his loving Desdemona (March 3-25) and Samuel Barber's Pulitzer Prize-winning Vanessa, with a libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti and starring Kara Shay Thomson (who provided a memorable Tosca here a couple of seasons ago) as the deluded Vanessa, who believes her lover has returned to her after 20 years (March 10-24).
Two interviews with Barber's close friends Gian Carlo Menotti and Charles Turner make up the next part.
The crowning achievement of this recording is the soprano's stirring performance of "To this we've come" from Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul, which combines open-hearted sincerity with towering vocalism to bring the sorrow and desperation of Magda Sorel thrillingly to life.
It was put on the market by the adopted son of Italian-American opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti for pounds 15million in August 2008 - just a month before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, sparking the credit crunch and the recession.
His point in telling how he was severely beaten by "an eye-filling stripling" who had invited his advances is to emphasize John Button's kindness in caring for him, and to record the response of Gian Carlo Menotti, for whom he was working as a secretary: "Oh, Joe, these are the people I want to reach with my music."
The ballets are set to music by three gay composers from different periods: Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, who was tormented by his homosexuality; Samuel Barber, who for years lived with composer Gian Carlo Menotti in a "don't ask, don't tell"--style relationship; and Billy Strayhorn, who, Scott says, "took it a step further, living his life openly, accepting the limitations that meant for him."
In 1965, Gian Carlo Menotti, director of the Spoleto, Italy, Festival of Two Worlds, invited Paul to perform and make a new dance for the company.