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The first-ever biography of this almost forgotten eighteenth century star. How a girl from Italy became London’s “most enchanting comic actress.”
Giovanna Sestini’s important contribution to opera has been revived in this carefully researched biography. This book describes her Italian and Portuguese background, while providing considerable insight into the contemporary opera scene and social history of 18th century London.
In her private family life she was Joanna Stocqueler, mother of eight children, while as Giovanna Sestini she was a renowned and attractive opera singer. Her talents were publicised until her retirement in 1792, when both her voice and the London theatres were in decline. The book offers a full description of her life, including her early performances in Italy and Portugal, her marriage to Portuguese aristocrat José Christiano Stocqueler, and the fate of her children. After her move to London she was acclaimed both in Italian comic opera at the King’s Theatre and in English opera at Covent Garden.
This book will appeal to readers with an interest in the arts, opera and eighteenth-century history. It includes 18 illustrations and a full bibliography and index.