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Storace, Stephen

1763-1796

 

Excellent composer for the theatre. Brother of the preceding. Born and died at London. He early showed musical ability and was so well trained by his father that at ten years of age he could play Tartini's and Giardini's violin solos. Two years later he entered the Conservatory of San Onofrio at Naples, where he studied violin, harpsichord and composition. He then accompanied his sister Anna on a journey through the principal cities of Italy, and at Vienna produced his first operas, Gli sposi malcontent! in 1785 and Gli Equivoci in 1786. On his return to England he became director of the Kind's Theatre, but retired because of intrigues, and lived for a short time at Bath, devoting himself to drawing. In 1788, however, he produced his first opera as composer to Drury Lane Theatre, The Doctor and Apothecary. He continued to write constantly until his premature death; his stage works being eighteen in number, including the popular opera, The Haunted Tower, which kept the stage for almost fifty years; No Song No Supper; The Siege of Belgrade; Cave of Trophonius; The Pirates, considered his masterpiece; Dido; The Iron Chest; and Mahmoud; also the musical entertainment, The Prize; the farce, Lodoiska; The Glorious Fourth of June; and the comic operas Cherokee and The Three and the Deuce. He also wrote glees and songs. His works combine English style and Italian method and are the first examples of the employment of the modern concerted finale in English Opera.