Hasse, Faustina Bordoni


Born in Venice; she became, through her wonderful singing the idol of the Italian people. Of noble birth, she possessed a charming personality and great beauty. Her first instruction was received from Gasparini, of Lucca, and she achieved immediate fame upon her debut in 1716 in Ariodante by C. F. Pallarolo, becoming well-known as The Syren. At Florence in 1722 a gold medal was struck in her honor. While singing at the Court Theatre, Vienna, in 1724, she was heard by Handel, who persuaded her to come to London. She made her debut in 1726 and outrivaled Cuzzoni, a singer who had reigned there supreme for several years. After two seasons in London she returned to Venice, where she was married, in 1729, to Johann Adolph Hasse, a dramatic composer In 1731 they went to Dresden, where she sang the principal soprano parts of her husband's productions. In 1763 they went to Vienna. In 1775 they retired to Venice, where both died in 1783, Faustina at the age of ninety.