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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Impresario, from the Italian impresa, an enterprise or undertaking, is a person who organises and often finances concerts, plays or operas.[1] The origin of the term is to be found in the social and economic world of Italian opera, where from the mid-18th century to the 1830s, the impresario was the key figure in the organization of a lyric season.[2] The owners of the theatre, usually noble amateurs, charged the impresario with hiring a composer, for until the 1850s, operas on stage were expected to be new ones, and gathering the necessary costumes, sets, orchestra and singers, assuming the considerable financial risks. In 1786 Mozart satirised the stress and emotional mayhem in a single-act farce Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario"). Antonio Vivaldi was unusual in acting as impresario as well as composer: in 1714 he managed seasons at Teatro Sant'Angelo in Venice, where his opera Orlando finto pazzo was followed by numerous others.

Many impresarios went bankrupt, some more than once, so that a mercantile background and a gambler's instincts were useful. Alessandro Lanari (1787 — 1852) began as the owner of a shop that produced costumes, eliminating the middleman in a series of successful seasons he produced for the Teatro La Pergola, Florence, which saw premieres of the first version of Verdi's Macbeth, two of Bellini's operas and five of Donizetti's, including Lucia di Lammermoor. Domenico Barbaia (1778 — 1841) began as a café waiter and made a fortune at La Scala. Milan, where he was also in charge of the gambling operation and introduced roulette.

The traditional term is still in use in the entertainment industry for a producer of concerts, tours and other events in music, opera, theatre[3] and even rodeo.[4] Significant modern impresarios in the traditional sense include Rudolf Bing, Sergei Diaghilev, Richard D'Oyly Carte, Fortune Gallo, Aaron Richmond, and Sol Hurok.

The term is occasionally applied to others, such as independent art museum curators[5] and conference organisers,[6] who take a lead role in orchestrating events.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau said of himself that he was an impresario of scientists[7] as an explorer and filmmaker who worked with scientists in underwater exploration. Nicholas Wade described James D. Watson and E. O. Wilson in The New York Times as impresarios of Charles Darwin's works.[8]

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Simple English

An Impresario is somebody who organizes concerts, operas, ballets or plays. The word comes from the Italian word impresa, which means "an enterprise" or "undertaking".

Some very famous impresarios from the past include Rudolf Bing, Sergei Diaghilev, Richard D'Oyly Carte, Fortune Gallo, and Sol Hurok.

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