Biography of Gaspero Angiolini (1731-1803)

Dancer, choreographer, teacher of ballet and Italian composer, born 9 February 1731 in Florence and died in Milan February 6, 1803, known in the world of dance by the pseudonym of "Angelo Gasparini".

Coming from a family of artists, Angiolini received the first lessons from his father. Continued training of dancer under the tutelage of master Franz Hilverding, printed in his student new ideas about the ballet d'action. He/She made her debut in Venice in 1748 and later worked in various Italian theatres. In 1757, after creating some ballets in Turin, he/she was appointed master of the Vienna Court Opera ballet, in which replaced his mentor Hilverding. During his stay in Vienna, he/she collaborated with Gluck in the libretto and choreography of several of his works, such as Don Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre (1761), Orfeo ed Euridice (1762) and Semiramis (1765), which was a novelty for the world of the opera-ballet. Some of the ballets choreographed with music composed by him were: Le Muse protégé (1764), presented at the celebration of the coronation of José II, and Les Chinoises en Europe (1766) choreographed Petersburgo, city in which it remained until 1772, again as a successor of Hilverding.

In 1772 he/she returned to Italy where he/she met Noverre, his eternal rival, who defended to be the creator of pantomime ballet. Thus began a long-standing dispute by the Parenthood of the ballet d'action, which has been reflected in writings such as Lettere di Gaspero Angiolini to Monsieur Noverre sopra i Balli Pantomimi (1773), and his answer: Petite Réponse aux Grandes Lettres du Monsieur Angiolini (1774). After several stays in Vienna (1774-75), St. Petersburg (1776-78) and Italy (1779-82), where he/she created, among others, Alessandro ballets trionfante nell'Indie (1780) in Verona and Rinaldo and Armida (1780) in Milan, Angiolini marched again and for the last time to Petersburgo where he/she stayed from 1784 to 1786. In 1787 he/she returned definitively to Italy, where he/she remained until his death.