Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/146

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134

��RIGADOON.

��RIGADOON (French Rigadon or Rigaudon), a lively dance, which most probably came from Provence or Languedoc, although its popularity in England has caused some writers to suppose that it is of English origin. It was danced in France in the time of Louis XIII, but does not seem to have become popular in England until the end of the i7th century. According to Eousseau it derived its name from its inventor, one Rigaud, but others connect it with the English ' rig,' i. e. wanton, or lively.

The Bigadoon was remarkable for a peculiar jumping step (which is described at length in Compan's ' Dictionnaire de la Danse/ Paris, 1802) ; this step survived the dance for some time. The music of the Rigadoon is in 2-4 or C time, and consists of three or four parts, of which the third is quite short. The number of bars is unequal, and the music generally begins on the third or fourth beat of the bar. The follow- ing example is from the 3rd Part of Henry Playford's ' Apollo's Banquet ' (6th edition, 1690). The same tune occurs in 'The Dancing Master,* but in that work the bars are incor- rectly divided.

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��[W.B.S.]

RIGBY, GEORGE VERNON, born Jan. 21, 1840, when about 9 years old was a chorister of St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, where he remained for about 7 years. In 1 860, his voice having changed to a tenor, he decided upon becoming a singer, and tried his strength at some minor concerts in Birmingham and its neighbourhood, and succeeded so well that in 1861 he removed to London, and on March 4 appeared at the Alhambra, Leicester Square (then a concert room, managed by E. T. Smith), and in August following at Mellon's Promenade Concerts at Covent Garden. In 1865 he sang in the provinces as a member of H. Corn's Opera Company, until November, when he went to Italy and studied under San Giovanni at Milan, where in Nov. 1866 he appeared at the Carcano Theatre as the Fisherman in Rossini's ' Guglielmo Tell.' He next went to Berlin, and in Jan. 1867 appeared at the Victoria Theatre there, in the principal tenor parts in 'Don Pasquale,' 'La Sonnambula,' and 'L'ltaliana in Algieri.' He then accepted a three months engagement in Den- mark, and performed 11 Conte Almaviva in the

��RIGH1NI.

Barbiere,' II Duca in 'Rigoletto,' and other parts, in Copenhagen and other towns. He re- turned to England in Sept. 1867, and sang at various places. In 1868 he was engaged at the Gloucester Festival with Sims Reeves, whose temporary indisposition afforded him the oppor- tunity of singing the part of Samson in Handel's oratorio, in which he acquitted himself so ably that he was immediately engaged by the Sacred Harmonic Society, where he appeared, Nov. 27, 1868, with signal success, and immediately es- tablished himself as an oratorio singer. In 1869 he appeared on the stage of the Princess's Theatre as Acis in Handel's 'Acis and Galatea.' He has since maintained a prominent position at all the principal concerts and festivals in town and country. His voice is of fine quality, full compass, and considerable power, and he sings with earnestness and care. [W.H.H.]

RIGHINI, VINCENZO, a well-known conductor of the Italian opera in Berlin, born at Bologna Jan. 22, 1756. As a boy he had a fine voice, but owing to injury it developed into a tenor of so rough and muffled a tone, that he turned his attention to theory, which he studied with Padre Martini. In 1776 he sang for a short time in the Opera buffa at Prague, then under Bustelli's direction, but was not well received. He made a success there however with three operas of his composition, ' La Vedova scaltra,' 'La Bottega del Caffe,' and 'Don Giovanni,' also performed in Vienna (Aug. 1777), whither Righini went on leaving Prague. There he be- came singing-master to Princess Elisabeth of Wurtemberg, and conductor of the Italian opera. He next entered the service of the Elector of Mayence, and composed for the Elector of Treves 'Alcide al Bivio' (Coblenz) and a mass. In April 1793 he was invited to succeed Ales- sandri at the Italian Opera of Berlin, with a salary of 3000 thalers (about 450). Here he produced ' Enea nel Lazio ' and ' II Trionfo d'Arianna (1793), 'Armida' (1799), 'Tigrane' (1800), 'Gerusalemme liberata,' and 'La Selva incantata* (1803). The last two were pub- lished after his death with German text (Leipzig, Herklotz).

In 1794 Righini married Henriette Kneisel (born at Stettin in 1767, died of consumption at Berlin Jan. 25, 1801), a charming blonde, and, according to Gerber, a singer of great expression. After the death of Friedrich Wilhelm II. (1797) his post became almost a sinecure, and in 1806 the opera was entirely discontinued. Righini was much beloved. Gerber speaks in high terms of his modesty and courtesy, and adds, ' It is a real enjoyment to hear him sing his own pieces in his soft veiled voice to his own ac- companiment.' As a composer he was not of the first rank, and of course was eclipsed by Mozart. His best point was his feeling for ensemble, of which the quartet in ' Gerusalemme ' is a good example. He was a successful teacher of singing, and counted distinguished artists among his pupils. After the loss of a promising son in 1810, his health gave way, and in 1812 he-

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