Ricci, Luigi



Celebrated Italian opera-composer, born at Naples. Was a pupil at the Conservatory there, of Furnp and Zingarelli, after studying privately under Generali. At the age of eighteen, his first work, L'impresario in angustie, a comic opera, was given by the students at the Conservatory, and the next year saw the production of La cena frastornata at the Teatro Nuovo. During the next twelve years he had brought out at various Italian theatres Naples, Rome, Milan, etc. no less than twenty operas, with varying fortunes. In 1836 he became chorus director of the theatre and chapelmaster at the Cathedral in Trieste. Ricci composed five operas in collaboration with his brother Federico, one of which, Crispino e la Comare, Venice, 1850, was eminently successful, and is considered his best and most lasting opera. Luigi seems to have received the entire credit for this work. In 1859, II diavolo a quattro, his last opera, was successfully produced at Trieste; soon after he showed symptoms of insanity, which necessitated his removal to an asylum in Prague, where he died within the year.


His most successful operas, besides those already named, are: Colombo; L'orfanella di Ginevra; Chiara di Rosemberg; Chi dura vince; II birrajo di Preston; and La festa di Piedigrotta. He also composed a mass with orchestra, a cantata, Ulisse, and numerous other sacred works; also two albums of songs.