Fixing her Reputation: Giulia Frasi and her Ranelagh Garden Concerts

Joncus, Berta. 2020. Fixing her Reputation: Giulia Frasi and her Ranelagh Garden Concerts. Händel-Jahrbuch, 66, pp. 137-180. ISSN 0440-0615 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores, for the first time, the early career in England of Italian soprano Giulia Frasi, both her stage parts (1740-1748) and her concert series at Ranelagh Gardens (1748-52). Trained by the Milanese singing master and violin virtuoso Ferdinando Brivio, the young Frasi was hired in London to help showcase 'La Muscovita' (Lucia Panichi), prima donna of the Italian opera company there. To the scandal of the Town, Frasi swiftly took up with libertine patrons, and bore an illegitimate daughter. How then she come to lead Handel's English-language sacred works? This article probes Frasi’ s agency in the process, focusing on the solo concerts that she and star tenor John Beard co-organised at Ranelagh Gardens’ Rotunda. These concerts, which marked Frasi’ s pivot from Italian to English works, demonstrate the ingenuity of her self-promotion.

Item Type:



Guilia Frasi, Handel, John Beard, Ranelagh Gardens, star, oratorio, 18th-century Italian opera, London, Giuseppe Ferdinando Brivio

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26 January 2018Accepted

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Date Deposited:

17 Jul 2020 09:42

Last Modified:

11 Mar 2024 22:01

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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