Maddalena Allegranti

Music of Yesterday
Maddalena Allegranti

Maddalena Allegranti

Maddalena Allegranti was born in Venice in 1754 and died in 1829.

She was a pupil of Holtzbauer (a composer and teacher) of Mannheim, and appeared for the first time in Venice in 1771.

Her uncle was J. B. Allegranti, an innkeeper in Florence, and who regularly put up Cassanova. Allegranti wrote several letters to Cassanova.

In 1774 she went to Germany, where she performed at Mannheim and Ratisbon until the year 1779 when she returned to Venice.

She sang in Venice at the theatre of San Samuele during the Carnival, and eventually came to England in 1781.

She was enthusiastically admired in her first opera, the ‘Viaggiatori felici’ of Anfossi. Her voice, though thin, was extremely sweet, of extraordinary compass upwards, and so flexible as to lead her to indulge in a flowery style of singing which had then the merit of considerable novelty.

She was also a good actress but it was soon found that there was a great likeness in her manner and embellishments, and she became gradually so disregarded, by the of her second season, she went to Dresden, where the Elector engaged her at a salary of a thousand ducats.

She went back to London, many years later, and reappeared in Cimarosa’s ‘Il Matrimonio Segreto.’ Never was a more pitiable attempt; she had scarcely a thread of voice left nor the power to sing a note in tune. Her figure and acting were equally altered for the worse, and after a few nights she was obliged to retire, and quit the stage forever.

She performed in an oratorio in 1799.