Elizabeth Forbes (musicologist)

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Elizabeth Forbes (3 August 1924 – 22 October 2014) was an English author, music critic, and musicologist who specialised in writing about opera. Her main areas of interest were 19th- and 20th-century opera (French and Scandinavian in particular) and singers, both historical and present-day. She contributed many reviews and articles to several notable periodicals and newspapers internationally including the Financial Times , The Independent , The Musical Times , Opera , Opera Canada and Opera News among several others.

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Opera Artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

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Born in Camberley, she was the author of numerous books on various subjects related to opera, including her 1985 work, Mario and Grisi, which details the lives of opera singers Giulia Grisi and Giovanni Matteo Mario. She wrote a significant number of singing translations of many operas, from French, German and Swedish, including works by Gaspare Spontini, Giacomo Meyerbeer and Franz Berwald, and also extensively contributed to reference works on singers and other operatic topics, including several hundred articles in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians . [1]

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Giovanni Matteo Mario Italian opera singer 1810-1883

Giovanni Matteo De Candia, also known as Mario, was an Italian opera singer. The most celebrated tenor of his era, he was lionized by audiences in Paris and London. He was the partner of the opera singer Giulia Grisi.

She died on 22 October 2014. [2]

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Elizabeth Bartlet (musicologist)

Mary Elizabeth Caroline Bartlet was a Canadian-born musicologist known for her scholarship on French music, and particularly opera, in the 18th and 19th centuries. She also produced pioneering critical editions of the scores for Rossini's Guillaume Tell and Rameau's Platée. At the time of her death she was a professor of music at Duke University and a director of the American Musicological Society.


  1. Cummings, David (ed.), "Forbes, Elizabeth", International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory (Classical and light classical), Routledge, 2000, p. 204; ISBN   0-948875-53-4
  2. Elizabeth Forbes: Musicologist and critic who translated librettos and wrote nearly 100 obituaries for 'The Independent'