Johann Adolph Hasse - Early Career

Early Career

Hasse's career began in singing, when he joined the Hamburg Opera (his family, who were traditionally church musicians, came from near Hamburg) in 1718 as a tenor. In 1719 he obtained a singing post at the court of Brunswick, where in 1721 his first opera, Antioco, was performed; Hasse himself sang in the production.

He is thought to have left Germany during 1722. During the 1720s he lived mostly in Naples, dwelling there for six or seven years. In 1725 his serenata Antonio e Cleopatra, was performed at Naples; the principal roles were sung by Carlo Broschi, better known as Farinelli, and Vittoria Tesi. The success of this work not only earned Hasse many commissions from Naples's opera houses, but also, according to Quantz, brought him into contact with Alessandro Scarlatti, who became his teacher and friend; Hasse also altered his style in several respects to reflect that of Scarlatti.

Hasse's popularity in Naples increased dramatically and for several years his workload kept him extremely busy. In this period he composed his only full opera buffa, La sorella amante, in addition to several intermezzi and serenatas. He visited the Venetian Carnival of 1730, where his opera Artaserse was performed at the S Giovanni Grisostomo. Metastasio's libretto was heavily reworked for the occasion, and Farinelli took a leading role. Two of his arias from this opera he later performed every night for a decade for Philip V of Spain.

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