Online Encyclopedia

MICHAEL KELLY (1762–1826)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 720 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MICHAEL KELLY (1762–1826), British actor, singer and composer, was the son of a Dublin wine-merchant and dancing-master. He had a musical education at home and in Italy, and for four years from 1783 was engaged to sing at the Court Theatre at Vienna, where he became a friend of Mozart. In 1786 he sang in the first performance of the Nozze di Figaro. Appearing in London, at Drury Lane in 1787, he had a great success, and thenceforth was the principal English tenor at that theatre. In 1793 he became acting-manager of the King's Theatre, and he was in great request at concerts. He wrote a number of songs (including " The Woodpecker"), and the music for many dramatic pieces, now fallen into oblivion. In 1826 he published his entertaining Reminiscences, in writing which he was helped by Theodore Hook. He combined his professional work with conducting a music-shop and a wine-shop, but with disastrous financial results. He died at Margate on the 9th of October 1826.
End of Article: MICHAEL KELLY (1762–1826)
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