Francesco Ceccarelli

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Francesco Ceccarelli (1752, Foligno – 21 September 1814, Dresden) was a soprano castrato known for his grace and excellent singing technique.

After early opera appearances in his native Umbria, he sang mainly in the German-speaking countries and was thought better suited to church and concert music.

He was notably engaged by Count Hieronymus von Colloredo as a court singer at Salzburg (1777–88), where he became a friend of the Mozart family; Mozart wrote a mass, K275/272b, and a rondò, K374, for him. At the premiere on December 21, 1777 of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Missa Brevis, K. 272b, Ceccarelli was among the soloists singled out for praise for his performance.[1] Around 1780, Mozart revised "Exsultate, jubilate," possibly for Ceccarelli to sing at the Dreifaltigkeitskirche.[2]

Later Ceccarelli held posts at Mainz (1788–92) and sang in opera in Italy. In decline he served the Elector of Saxony in Dresden from 1800.


  1. ^ p. 390, Sadie (2006). "The castrato sang excellently ... (this was Francesco Ceccarelli, then new to the Salzburg Kapelle)."
  2. ^ C. Eisen, p. 11
  • C. Eisen, S. Sadie. The New Grove Mozart Macmillan (2002)
  • P. Barbier (1989). The World of the Castrati: The History of an Extraordinary Operatic Phenomenon transl. M. Crosland, Souvenir Press
  • S. Sadie (2006). Mozart: the Early Years 1756—1781 Oxford University Press.