Ascalesi, Cardinal. Alessio b. October 22, 1872 d. May 11, 1952 Roman Catholic Cardinal. A native of Casalnuovo, Alessio Ascalesi was raised in Umbria, entering seminary in Spoleto, where he was ordained priest in June 1895. Entering the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood, he was named pastor of the Montemurano parish of which he served previously as its economus and vicar forane of the Collegio San Bartolomeo in the city of Montefalco. Elected bishop of the diocese of Muro Lucano, Ascalesi received his episcopal consecration in Montefalco on August 8...[Read More] (Bio by: Eman Bonnici) Basilica dell'Incoronata Madre del Buon Consiglio, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy Plot: Ipogeo degli Arcivescovi.
Caruso, Enrico b. February 25, 1873 d. August 2, 1921 Opera Singer. Enrico Caruso was born in Naples, Italy. His singing was always in demand, either at the local church or some special festivities. At the age of fifteen his mother was seriously ill, she insisted he must sing, upon return after mass found her dead. His father remarried and the family ultimately reached 22 children. With very little formal or musical education he learned and refined his theatrical skills throughout his life on his own. Singing first in provincial theaters and...[Read More] (Bio by: Donald Greyfield (inactive)) Cimitero Monumentale di Poggioreale, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy
Castagnola, Liliana b. March 11, 1895 d. March 3, 1930 Actress. Born Eugenia Castagnola, she is also remembered for her relationship with the actor Antonio De Curtis, know as "Totò". During her successful career throughout Europe, she gained a reputation as femme fatale because of some tempestuous love affairs with important men of that time. After performing in Paris, she returned to Italy at the Teatro Santa Lucia and Teatro Nuovo in Naples. Liliana committed suicide at...[Read More] (Bio by: Lucy Caldarelli) Cimitero Del Pianto, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy Plot: buried in the tomb of De Curtis Family
Cecere, Carlo b. November 7, 1706 d. February 15, 1761 Composer, Instrumentalist. One of the last notable composers to work in the Baroque tradition. He was notorious in his day for his comic opera "La abentorosa tavernola" (1741), which satirized monastic life. The Catholic Church deemed it blasphemous, not least because it was commissioned by (and first performed in) a monastery. The author of the libretto was imprisoned and the composer prudently gave up writing for the stage. Cecere was born in Grottole, Italy, and probably spent his adult...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Chiesa di Santa Maria la Nuova, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy Plot: Chapel of the Congregazione dei Musici
de Anjou, Charles b. March, 1226 d. January 7, 1285 French and Italian Monarch. He was the Count of Anjou and Maine, and reigned as King of Naples and Sicily, King of Jerusalem and Albania. Born the youngest son of King Louis VIII and Blanche de Castile, in 1246 he married the twelve years old Beatrice, heiress of Provence and became Count of Provence. After negotiations with two popes that altogether lasted more than ten years, he was crowned King of Naples and Sicily in January 1266. On February 26, 1266 he defeated King Manfred of Sicily, a...[Read More] (Bio by: Lutetia) Duomo San Gennaro, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy
De Lucia, Fernando b. October 11, 1860 d. February 21, 1925 Opera Singer. A tenor controversial in his own time and later, he is chiefly remembered for the vast recorded legacy which gives insight into a now-obsolete style of performance. Trained in his native city, he made his March 9, 1885, professional bow at Naples' Teatro San Carlo as the title character of Charles Gounod's "Faust"; originally a 'tenore di grazia' ("tenor of grace") typified by Count Almaviva in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville", he sang such fare as Nemorino in Donizetti's "L'...[Read More] (Bio by: Bob Hufford) Cimitero Monumentale di Poggioreale, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy Plot: Chapel of San Filippo di Chaiaia.
Durante, Francesco b. March 31, 1684 d. September 30, 1755 Composer. Apart from a brief period in Rome, he lived his whole life in Naples. As director of several conservatories there, he taught Giovanni Pergolesi, Giovanni Paisiello, and Niccolo Piccini. Durante wrote primarily for the church; his catalog includes 24 Masses, five Requiems, 33 Psalm settings and scores of other vocal pieces. Although he expressed considerable dramatic flair in his music, religious inhibitions prevented him from tackling an opera, the only path to musical fame...[Read More] (Bio by: Bobb Edwards) Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy
Gesualdo, Carlo b. March 8, 1566 d. September 8, 1613 Composer. The Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, Naples, he was a musical prodigy, and became highly skilled at singing, lute, and harpsichord while still a child. In 1586 he married his cousin, the beautiful (and twice-widowed) Princess Donna Maria d'Avalos; but he preferred musicmaking to lovemaking, and after producing the required male heir lost all interest in her. Donna Maria then began a clandestine affair with Don Fabrizio Carafa, the Duke of Andria. The ellicit lovers bribed...[Read More] (Bio by: Bobb Edwards) Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy
Giordano, Cardinal. Michele b. September 26, 1930 d. December 2, 2010 Roman Catholic Cardinal. He was the longtime Archbishop of Naples, Italy. Born in the small town of Sant'Archangelo, he was ordained a Priest in 1953 and was first posted to Anglona-Tursi. Consecrated Bishop in 1972, he served as auxillary Bishop of Matera until assuming the position of Archbishop in 1974. Called to Naples as Archbishop in 1987, he was created Cardinal the next year and remained there until his 2006 age-mandated retirement. In 2000 he became the highest ranking Church offical...[Read More] (Bio by: Bob Hufford) Basilica dell'Incoronata Madre del Buon Consiglio, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy
Joanna I b. 1326 d. May 22, 1382 Queen of Naples and titular Queen of Jerusalem. Daughter of Charles d'Anjou and Marie de Valois. She succeeded her grandfather Robert I. on the thrones of Naples and Jerusalem in 1343. She was crowned in October 1344 in Naples. She inherited the titles of Duchess of Calabria, Princess of Capua and Countess of Provence, Forcalquier and Piemont from her father. In 1345 her first husband Andrea of Hungary was killed and it was rumored that she had ordered the murder. In December 1345 she gave...[Read More] (Bio by: Lutetia) Chiesa Santa Chiara, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy
Mercadante, Saverio b. September 17, 1795 d. December 17, 1870 Composer. An important developer of 19th Century Italian opera, he strongly influenced the early music of Giuseppe Verdi. Mercadante was born in Altamura, near Bari, Italy. He studied flute, violin and composition at the Naples Conservatory (1816 to 1820) and became the favorite student of that institution's director, Niccolo Zingarelli. Rossini was impressed enough with his talent to write Zingarelli, "My compliments...your pupil Mercadante begins where we leave off", and encouraged the young...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Cimitero Monumentale di Poggioreale, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy
Merola, Mario b. April 6, 1934 d. November 12, 2006 Singer, Actor. A Native of Naples, he promoted dramatic renditions of traditional Italian songs with mixed dialogue singing in his performances. Considered the king of the Scenario, his melodramatic, was verging on wailing, ripe with passion and reflected a vibrant emotional personality. His popularity spread with a solid following in Europe, the United States and Canada. He recorded over 40 albums of Sceneggiata music in his career and was received at the White House from President Gerald Ford...[Read More] (Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith) Nuovo Cimitero de Poggioreale, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy Plot: D'Alesio Family Chapel
Novelli, Ermete b. March 5, 1851 d. January 30, 1919 Actor. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest masters of Italian dramatic art. Born into a noble and ancient family, he debuted in the theater at a young age and in a short time, after working with the famous stage actor Luigi Bellotti Bon, became one of the most popular theatrical Italian performers, first in the pochade genre together with Claudio Leigheb and since 1890 in the Shakespearean genre. In 1900, he was the first to found a Teatro Stabile in Italy, "Casa Goldoni" at the...[Read More] (Bio by: Ruggero) Cimitero Del Pianto, Naples, Provincia di Napoli, Campania, Italy