Soprano Regina Mingotti was born Regina Valentini in Naples on 6 February 1722. The daughter of an Austrian officer, she was educated at an Ursuline convent in Graz. In 1747 she married impresario Pietro Mingotti who (with his brother Angelo) took her to Dresden where she performed in Gluck’s opera La nozze d’Ercole e d’Ebe at the court of Friedrich Christian von Sachsen. From the 1730s to the 1750s the Mingotti brothers ran a distinguished troupe of operisti, giving concerts in most European capitals. She left Germany in 1752 and travelled to Madrid to sing at the Spanish court where the opera was directed by Farinelli, the great castrato. In 1754, Francesco Vanneschi hired Mingotti at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket. She would become the first female to run London’s opera house. London music critics labelled her a ‘female Garrick’. She retired from the stage in 1763 (four years after the death of her husband) and settled in Munich. She died in 1807.