Randegger, Alberto



Italian composer and vocal teacher' born at Trieste, and showed musical ability first at thirteen years of age. He was then placed under Tivoli, and later Lafont, an organist, for piano lessons, and Luigi Ricci for composition. Through these teachers Randegger became familiar with operatic affairs and various compositions in a practical way. At eighteen he met Verdi; a little later he himself composed several pieces of church-music and two ballets, which were produced at Trieste, and in collaboration with several fellow-pupils of Ricci wrote a comic opera, II Lazzarone, which was also produced at Trieste. From 1852 to 1854 he was musical director at theatres in five different Italian cities. While at Brescia he produced a grand opera of his own, Bianca Capello. He was engaged by an Italian manager, a coadjutor of Max Strakosch, to come to New York to conduct Italian Opera, and also to bring out his newopera, but was prevented by an epidemic of cholera. He was induced to go to London instead, became a teacher of singing, and also conducted and composed. From 1859 to 1870 he was organist and choirmaster of a London church, and also studied composition under Molique; but aside from his teaching he was most prominent as an operatic composer. In 1857 he became conductor of Italian Opera at St. James' Theatre, and in 1868 professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music. From 1879 to 1885 he was conductor of the Carl Rosa Opera Company; from 1887 to 1898 of grand opera at Drury Lane Theatre and Covent Garden, and for two years, from 1895 to 1897, of the Queen's Hall Choral Society, introducing Saint-Saens* Samson and Delilah. From the resignation of Julius Benedict in 1881 he was conductor of the Norwich Festival. He is recognized as an authority on oratorio, as well as opera, and edited vocal selections from the works of Handel and Mendelssohn. He is a careful student of scores, and has a fine library containing many of these, which, together with his books, number about two thousand. He is now seventy-five years old. His compositions include The Rival Beauties; the dramatic cantata, Fridolin; dramatic scenes, Medea, and Saffo; funeral anthem in memory of Prince Albert; scene, The Prayer of Nature; also a setting of the 150th Psalm, written for the Boston Jubilee of 1872. He has published numerous songs, and his Primer of Singing is considered an important work.