t h e   r o s a   t r o u p e

Alberto Randegger

Alberto Randegger

Alberto Randegger was born at Trieste on 13 April 1832, of a rabbi father and a musician mother. He received a musical education and by his early twenties was both a composer and conductor who had actually met Verdi. He came to England in 1854, established himself as a teacher, continued to compose and conduct, and became a major figure in London musical circles. By the late 1870s Rosa was finding the dual roles of manager and musical director ever more demanding and in 1879 he recruited Randegger to assist in the London season.

The 1879 season at Her Majesty’s Theatre was marked by two major operatic productions which called for a division of labour, the British premiere of Rienzi (Wagner) and the English-language premiere of Carmen (Bizet). Rosa opened the season with a spectacular Rienzi. Randegger made his debut conducting Bohemian Girl on 31 January and Carmen followed on 5 February with Selina Dolaro, whom he had coached, in the title role. The season was successful and over the next five years he conducted sixteen operas during the London seasons together with a few performances in Dublin. This included two world premieres (Esmeralda, Nadeshda), three British English-language premieres (Aida, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser) and the company premiere of Flotow’s Alessandro Stradella. He said farewell with a final Nadeshda at Drury Lane on 27 May 1885 after at least 150 Rosa performances.

Randegger like Carl Rosa himself was one of several foreign musicians who enriched Victorian musical life; he remained a major musical figure for another twenty years appearing at major festivals, and conducting opera at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. His death at his London home on 18 December 1911 was followed by a funeral service at Golders Green crematorium.

© 2020 John Ward

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