Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1742-1770 - Haymarket (Westminster)

Operatic soprano Giulia Frasi (date of birth is not known) probably came from Milan, where she was taught by Giuseppe Ferdinando Brivio. Having made the start of her career in Italy, she joined the opera company at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket, in autumn 1742. In London she became a student of Charles Burney.

Frasi appeared in all except one of the fifteen seasons when Italian operas were performed at the King’s Theatre between her debut there and 1760/1, singing in operas by Gluck, Handel, and a number of minor Italian composers. She was Handel’s choice as a leading soprano in his Lent oratorio seasons in which she sang until his death in 1759. She also took part in performances of Messiah at the Foundling Hospital. She was engaged at Ranelagh Gardens in 1751 and 1752, and sang in Thomas Arne’s Alfred in 1753, his Eliza in 1756, and his Artaxerxes at her own benefit in 1769. During the early 1770s she fell into serious debt brought about by her generous hospitality towards Italians who came to London. She fled to Calais where she died in poverty around 1772.

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