Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1763-1776 - Gerrard Street (Soho)

Composer and harpsichordist Mattia [Mathias] Vento was born in Naples in 1735. He studied at the Conservatory of Santa Maria di Loreto in his hometown. He made his debut as an operatic composer in Rome in 1756 which, in 1759, was followed by his opera La finta semplice. His creation of L’egiziana (The Egyptian), produced both in Venice and Milan in 1763, led to an invitation by the influential Felice Giardini to come to London where he stayed for the rest of his life. He was active as a composer of operas such Demofoonte (1765), Sofonisba (1766), The Conquest of Mexico (1767), and Artaxerxes (1771). He also wrote songs for the celebrated castrato Tenducci and composed religious music. In 1775 he was appointed Director of the Royal Theatre. A highly respected composer (by Charles Burney and others), he has left numerous compositions for harpsichord. His work was published and sold by (Peter) Welcker at Gerrard Street, Soho. He died in London in November 1776.

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