Poniatowski, Prince Joseph Michel John



Also given Josef Michel Xavery Franciszek Jan. Composer and singer; born at Rome. His father, Stanislas II., was the last King of Poland. His uncle, Prince Poniatowski, died at the battle of Leipsic in 1812. Joseph became a naturalized Tuscan, and in 1848 was created Prince of Monte-Rotondo by the Grand Duke Leopold II., who sent him as plenipotentiary to Paris. He settled there in 1854 and was made a naturalized citizen by an Imperial decree, afterwards becoming a senator. He was a music pupil of the Lyceo at Florence, studied also under Ceccherini, and made his debut as a tenor-singer at the Pergola Theatre in that city. He took the title role in Giovanni da Procida, his first opera, on its production at Lucca, and after that wrote many operas for Italian and French theatres, including Don Desiderio; Ruy Bias; Bonifazio; I Lambertazzi; Malek Adel; Esmeralda; La Sposa d' Abido; Piene de Medicis; Au travers du Mur; L'Aventurier; and La Contessina. He also brought out Gelmina, and Au travers du Mur in London. Selections from his mass in F were also sung at His Majesty's Theatre in 1873. Among his songs the Yeoman's Wedding Song is popular. His music is technically good, but lacks the touch of genius. He died at Chiselhurst, England, whither he followed Napoleon III. into exile.