NICOLO

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NICOLO, properly NICOLO ISOUARD, one of the most favorite theatrical composers of France, was born at Malta, 1777. His father, who was chamberlain to the grand master, paid great attention to the education of his children, and had several of them brought up in France. Constant de Campion, commander of the order of Malta, placed young Isouard at a school in Paris, where his father intended that he should prepare himself for the navy. His leisure was devoted to the pianoforte. He had already entered the navy as a midshipman, when the commencement of the revolution induced him to return to Malta (1790). Although his father now destined him for the commercial career, he still continued to study music with great success, and even became acquainted with counterpoint. From Malta he went to Palermo, where he spent some years as clerk in a countinghouse, and employed his leisure hours in the study of music. He went afterwards to Naples, where he completed his study of the art of composition. The famous Guglielmi instructed him in dramatical composition. He now determined, against the wish of his parents, to devote himself entirely to his favorite art, and wrote his first opera nt FlorenceUAvviso ai Maritaiithe favorable reception of which confirmed him in his determination. However, out of regard to his parents, he published his works under the name of Nicolo only, not adding his surname until some time afterwards, in Paris. He next composed the serious opera of Artaserse, at Leghorn. The grand master of the order of Malta appointed him organist of the church of the order, after the death of the famous Vincenzo Alfosso, and chapelmaster of the order, which situation he held, until, on the arrival of the French in Malta, the order was abolished. He still remained at Malta, where he wrote some small French operas, which were translated into Italian11 Tonneliere; Ulmprowisaia in Campagna; 11 Barbiere di Seviglia. When the French evacuated Italy, general Vaubois took him to Paris as his private secretary. Here he formed himself on the compositions of Monsigny and Gretry, and connected himself with the dramatic writer Etienne. Both wrote with ease and rapidity. Of all Nieolo's compositions, none was more popular than the opera of Cendrillon, which was first produced at Paris, in 1810, and epeatedin succession a hundred eveningsa result which is unparalleled in the annals of the theatre de Vopeta comique. This was followed by Joconde ; and these two operas brought him in 160,000 francs. Amongst his other compositions are Un Jour a Paris, La Ruse Inutile, & Intrigue aux Fenetres, Les Rendezvous bourgeois, and the pretty opera of Jeannot et Colin, In this light dramatical composition, Isouard JS distinguished for the ease and sweetness of his melodies, the fertility of his imagination, and the happy combination of the modern Italian school with the French. He died at Paris, 1818, leaving his opera Aladin, ou la Lanvpe Merveilleuse, unfinished.