Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1735-1746 - Little Stanmore (Middlesex)

Cellist and composer Andrea Caporale was probably born and raised in Naples, but nothing is known of him until about 1735, when he went to London to try his luck as a performing artist. He was one of several Italian soloists credited with popularising the cello in English society. Between about 1735 and 1745 he was the most admired cellist in the capital, during which time he performed solos for benefit concerts and played in theatre and pleasure garden orchestras. Burney remarked that audiences were especially pleased with his full, sweet and vocal tone’.

His most notable performances were under the auspices of Handel who engaged him in his opera orchestra at Cannons, the estate of his patron James Brydges, Duke of Chandos (Little Stanmore). Handel composed several arias with obbligato cello especially for him. Caporale dedicated his 1746 set of Six Cello Sonatas to Frederick Prince of Wales (son of Charles II), an enthusiastic cello player himself. Between 1754 and 1757 Caporale performed in Dublin. He died after 1757.

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