Tacchinardi, Niccolo



Italian singer, whose wonderful tenor voice brought him success in spite of his hunchbacked and almost repulsive appearance. He was born in Florence, and spent the first years of his life in preparing to enter the church, but yielded to his artistic impulses and began to study painting and sculpture, taking up singing and violin-playing when he was about eleven years old. When he was seventeen he began to play violin in a Florentine theatre, but at the end of five years there his voice had greatly developed, and he began to sing. In 1804 he made his debut in Livorno and Pisa; then sang in Florence and Venice, and during 1805 at La Scala in Milan. He sang in Rome with great success, and while there made the acquaintance of Canova, who modeled a bust of him. From 1811 to 1814 he sang at the Italian Opera in Paris; then returned to Italy, where he was appointed chief singer to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, with permission to travel. In 1831 he retired from the stage to his country home near Florence and devoted himself to teaching. At his country home he had a small theatre in which he trained his students, thus accustoming them to the surroundings of the stage. He wrote exercises and a small book, entitled Del' Opera in Musica sul Teatro Italiano, e de' suoi difetti.