Nicolini, Nicolino Grimaldi

About 1673-


Known as the Cavalier Nicolini, as he was decorated with the Order of St. Mark in Venice. Born in Naples about 1673. The librettos he wrote for operas show him to have been a man of good education. He is known to have sung as a boy soprano, and later as a fine contralto. He appeared in Rome in 1694 with the celebrated Pistocchi; in Naples for one year as principal singer in the operas and in 1700 was in Rome again. He sang in other Italian cities and in 1708 went to England, where he met with great success, singing in Pyrrhus and Demetrius when the fashion of presenting an opera partly in Italian and partly in English was the vogue. He left England in 1714 for Italy, but returned the next winter. Addison wrote of him concerning his acting that "he gave new majesty to kings, resolution to heroes and softness to lovers." He sang roles in Almahide, Hydaspes of which he edited the libretto, Rinaldo, in which he created the principal part; Antioco, Ambleto, Lucio Vero, Amadigi and Clearte. He remained on the stage until 1726. The date of his death is not known. That he was a remarkable actor and singer is evident from the criticisms by such men as Steele and Addison.