A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Perez, Davide

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PEREZ, Davide, son of a Spaniard, born in Naples 1711, was admitted in 1718 to the Conservatorio of Sta. Maria di Loreto, where he studied the violin under Antonio Gallo, and counterpoint under Francesco Mancini. His first opera 'Siroe'[1] was composed for San Carlo in 1740. At the invitation of Prince Naselli he went to Palermo, and became master of the Real Cappella Palatina. Here he remained till 1748, and produced 'L'Eroismo di Scipione' (1741), 'Astartea,' 'Medea,' and 'L'Isola incantata.' After 'La Clemenza di Tito' (1749), given at San Carlo in Naples, and 'Semiramide' (1750) at the Teatro delle Dame in Rome, he composed operas for all the principal towns in Italy. In 1752 he accepted an invitation to Lisbon, where he composed 'Demofoonte' for Gizziello and the tenor Raaff (Mozart's Munich friend), the success of which was so great that the King bestowed on him the Order of Christ, and the post of 'maestro at the Real Cappella,' with a salary of 30,000 francs. The new theatre in Lisbon was opened in 1755 with Perez's opera 'Alessandro nelle Indie,' in which a corps of cavalry, and a Macedonian phalanx, as described by Quintus Curtius, appeared on the stage. Perez procured the best Italian singers for the opera during his managership. In 1755 he came to London, and produced 'Ezio' with great success. Here also was published in 1774 a fine edition, with portrait, of his 'Mattutini de' Morti,' his best sacred work, though he also composed when in Lisbon, a 'Credo' for two choirs, and other church music. His compositions can scarcely be called remarkable, and Fétis ranks him below Jomelli. In person he resembled Handel, and like him lost his sight in old age, but worked on up to his death, which took place in Lisbon in 1778. Specimens of Perez will be found in Vincent Novello's various publications.

[ F. G. ]

  1. The score, dated 1740, is in the Real Collegio of Naples.