excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 111-112 (316 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 111-112 (316 words)

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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly

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It is perhaps not generally known, that, in the early part of his life, Morelli was Lord Cowper's volante, or running footman. One night, when going to bed, his Lordship's attention was attracted by some one singing an air, from an opera then in vogue ; the person was seated on the steps of a church, opposite to his Lordship's palace: the prodigious quality of the voice, the fine ear and excellent taste displayed, astonished his Lordship. He ordered his valet to inquire who the extraordinary performer could be ; the valet replied, " that he knew very well ; it was young Giovanni, one of his Lordship's volantes. His ear for music is so perfect," said the valet, ", that whatever he hears, he catches instantly : he often sings to the servants, and is the delight of us ail."' The following morning, Giovanni was ushered into his Lordship's breakfast room, where he sang several songs, in a style and with execution to surprise him still more ! His Lordship ordered Signor Mansoli, Signor Verolli, and Camparini, Maestro di Cappella to the Grand Duke, to hear him : they all declared it the finest voice they had ever heard, and that he only wanted instruction to become the very first bass singer in the world ! " Then," said Lord Cowper " that he shall not want long, from this I take him under my protection, and he shall have the best instruction Italy can afford." His Lordship kept his word ; and for two years, Morelli had the first masters that money could pro-cure. At the end of that time, he was engaged as primo buffo at Leghorn. He then went the round of all the principal theatres with great eclat. At the Teatro della Valle in Rome, he was perfectly idolized, often singing at the Carnival. He was engaged at the Pergola theatre ; and his success,on his return to Florence, was triumphant indeed !

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 111-112 (316 words)


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