L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Carlo Scalzi, by Charles Joseph Flipart, circa 1737

Portrait of Carlo Scalzi in costume for the role of Sirbace in the opera "Rosbale" by Niccolò Porpora.

Carlo Scalzi (circa 1700 – after 1738), Italian castrato who performed in most of the major Italian opera houses in the period from 1718 to 1738. Nothing is known of his early life or the exact date of his birth. The first record of him is in Rome in 1718, where he performed in a series of operas by Scarlatti. A contemporary described him as a "very unique singer" and likened his voice to that of the celebrated Farinelli. He also sang in London in 1733 and 1734, where he created the role of Alceste in the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Händel's "Arianna in Creta". While Scalzi was working with the composer's company, Händel altered and extended arias from some of his previous operas for the singer. Though Händel greatly admired the singer, the English public was slightly less enthusiastic, and Scalzi returned to Italy. His last know performances were in Venice in 1738. After that, there is no record of him.


Charles Joseph Flipart (1721, Paris – 1797, Madrid), French painter and engraver. He first trained with his father, an engraver, and later traveled to Venice, where he studied painting with Giovanni Tiepolo and Jacopo Amigoni. After some time spent in Rome, in 1770 he was appointed court painter and engraver to King Ferdinand VI of Spain.

Addendum: There is some question about the date and/or the artist; if both are correct, the artist would have been about sixteen or seventeen when this was painted... hmm....

1 comment:

  1. I love this painting; and the opera costume as delicious, though I sure hope he didn't have to move about the stage too much. Banging into props and set pieces with those side wings would've been unintentionally hilarious