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Open Features: Manuel Del Populo

Peter Wintersgill introduces us to Manuel Del Populo who founded a singing school to establish Italian Opera in New York.

Born
21 January, 1775, in Seville

Childhood
Was a choir boy in Seville Cathedral at the age of six.

Adult Life
His debuts were in 1808 in Paris, 1811 in Naples and 1817 in London.

He created the role of Almaviva in Rossini’s Barber of Seville. He founded a singing school to establish Italian Opera in New York, where he gave the USA premiere of Don Giovanni in 1825.

He took the company to Mexico, where bandits robbed him of all his earnings, some £6,000.

His compositions include songs and over 40 operas and operettas.

He had four children who all became singers. Manuel, his son, invented the laryngoscope.

He died in Paris on 9 June, 1832, aged 57.

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