Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1782-1786 - Haymarket (Westminster)

Composer Pasquale Anfossi was born on 5 April 1727 in Taggia, Liguria. Having studied violin at the Loreto Conservatorium in Naples, he turned to composing and worked mainly in Venice and Rome. A prolific composer (at least sixty operas, besides church music and oratorios later in life), he moved to London in 1782 where his first performance was Il trionfo della costanza at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket.

He was engaged as musical director in London until 1786, where he performed five of his own operas and alternative versions of work by other composers (Gluck, Bach, and Handel). His last opera in London L’inglese in Italia was judged to be montonous. Anfossi’s music was criticised as inadequately dramatic and weak in characterisation and his works were soon overshadowed by those of Salieri, Rossini, and Mozart. He returned to Italy in 1787 where he was appointed Maestro di Capella of San Giovanni in Laterano, and held this position till his death in Rome 1797.

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