Crescentini, Girolamo


A celebrated Italian male soprano and teacher, who was born near Urbino, Italy, and studied under Gibelli, making his debut in Rome, in 1783, and going to London three years later. He was considered the last great singer of his school, and was heard in all the chief cities of Europe from 1786 until 1816. He was given the Iron Cross by Napoleon, because of his talents. Fetis says of him, " Nothing could exceed the suavity of his tones, the force of his expression, the perfect taste of his ornaments or thfc large style of his phrasing." For several years after his retirement he was a professor at the Royal College of Music, Naples, and numbered among his pupils Isabella Colbran, the opera singer, who afterwards became the wife of Rossini. He wrote several vocal exercises which are still in use. He died in Naples.