Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Ottani, Gaetano [Bernardino]

(b ?Bologna, before 1736; d Turin,1808). Italian tenor, brother of Bernardo Ottani. His first known performance was in Bologna in 1747; he then sang in Lucca (1748) and Turin (1750), and from 1754 until 1768 was attached to the Turin court opera as primo uomo. He also sang in Milan in 1752, and again in 1770 when the Mozarts heard him in the convent of S Marco. Burney, who met him in July 1770 in Turin, thought him ‘a master in his profession’, possessing an ‘excellent voice’ and performing ‘with taste and in a pleasing manner’. Gaetano was also a landscape painter of some repute (to Burney’s eye, in the style of Claude Lorrain) and occasionally received royal commissions. He is sometimes confused with his more famous brother.

For bibliography see Ottani, Bernardo.




See Octave (i).

Ottava alta, bassa, sopra, sotta.

See under All'ottava.

Ottava battuta

(It.: ‘beaten octave’).

In two-part counterpoint, the accented approach of the octave from a larger interval and by contrary motion, considered by some theorists to be characteristic of bad Part-writing.

Ottava rima


A stanzaic form of Italian poetry set by composers of the frottola and 16th-century madrigal, also known as Strambotto and elsewhere rispetto, although the strambotto usually consists of a single stanza and the rispetto refers not to structure, but to intent or function (poetry, with or without music, reverently offered to the female beloved). While the multistrophic ottava rima is known from literature (Boccaccio, Filostrato, 1339; Ariosto, Orlando furioso, 1516; and so forth, down to the English poets Wyatt and Spenser and, in the 19th century, Byron, in Don Juan, 1819–24), it is rare in the musical sources: composers usually set a single stanza, as in the strambotto or equivalent examples in the madrigal. In prosody the ottava rima, in each of its stanzas, consists of eight lines of 11 syllables, or the iambic endecasillabo, with the eight lines arranged as four couplets according to the rhyme scheme abababcc. Usually the first couplet of the four is the only one to be notated, with the three remaining ones accommodated to its music. The melodic writing tends to be melismatic, thus endowing the single, short couplet with greater length and expressivity. Often a sacred text is indicated as a contrafactum, as in the strambotto Rezina del cor mio (F-Pn Rés.Vm7 676, ff.16 v–17 v), with the alternative text Rezina del paradiso, headed ‘Hoc carmine ad laudem Virginis Mariae’. See Frottola.


Ottavino (i)


The piccolo or octave flute (see Flute, §II, 3(i)).

Ottavino (ii)


The octave Spinet, a plucked string keyboard instrument that plays at 4' pitch, also called spinettino or spinetta ottavina.

Ottavino (iii)


See underOrgan stop (Octavin).

Ottavio, Frate.

See Ariosti, Attilio.


City in Ontario, capital of Canada since 1858; it was called Bytown from 1826 to 1855. Among a population of 2000 in the 1830s, there were six music teachers, including the German-born J.F. Lehmann (1790–1850) who composed The Merry Bells of England (Lovell, 1840), the first known typeset piece of sheet music in Canada. Beginning in the 1840s schools for young ladies and singing schools provided musical instruction, while military and civilian bands gave concerts of popular ballads and operatic selections, especially for the saints' days celebrated by the Irish, English, French and Scottish inhabitants. A performance of an Ave Maria ascribed to Pergolesi and Mozart's Requiem celebrated the installation of the 1063 Casavant pipe organ with 18 stops at Notre Dame Basilica in 1850. That year the first of many minstrel troupes performed, and other touring artists began to visit; a railway line, opened in 1854, facilitated travel; and Her Majesty's Theatre (1856) provided a venue.

By 1860 larger musical organizations began to be formed including the Quintette Club (1860s), the Ottawa Choral Society (1860–61, 1865–9), which became the Ottawa Philharmonic Society (1870–73), the Governor-General's Foot Guards Band (from 1872; still active), the Ottawa Musical Union (1879) and the Ottawa Choral Union (1874–6). An 1863 concert included glees, selections from Verdi's operas and a Haydn symphony arrangement. In 1870 the first part of Haydn's The Creation was performed with the band of the 60th Regiment. Quadrille dance bands, large bands and church choirs provided most formal musical events, but solo recitals were occurring by the 1870s. A Grand Opera House was built in 1874, opening as Gowan's Opera House; it burnt down in 1913. A touring group performed some Wagner excerpts in 1875 and opera companies with full chorus and orchestra presented opera and operetta. By 1880 local musicians had given the first Canadian performance of a Bach Concerto for three harpsichords (performed on three pianos), and in 1883 they organized the Ottawa String Quartette Club. Messiah was performed in full in 1884.

Meanwhile, local composers produced dance music, piano solos, songs and five operettas which were actually staged in the 1870s. A masque, Canada's Welcome, with a score of 200 pages by Arthur Clappé, was presented in honour of the new governor-general, the Marquis of Lorne, and his wife the Princess Louise in 1879. In 1880 a parody, HMS Parliament by W.H. Fuller, sung to the music of HMS Pinafore, became very popular. These local productions led to the formation in 1893 of the Ottawa Amateur Operatic Society. After hearing Damrosch's New York SO, Frank Jenkins formed the Ottawa Amateur Orchestral Society (1894–1902) of some 60 players. It performed choral works with the Schubert Club, later the Ottawa Choral Society (1896–1914), and programmes of operatic overtures, marches, dances and the occasional movement of a symphony or concerto. The Morning Music Club, founded in 1892, became the Pro Musica Society of Ottawa in 1962 and from 1969 to 1974 continued as the Concert Society of Ottawa.

In the early 20th century the rise and fall of various large organizations continued. The opening of the Russell Theatre in 1897 provided a better venue for both local productions and touring artists, until it was taken over by the city authorities in 1928. The oldest continuously operating musical theatre society in North America began in Ottawa as the Orpheus Glee Club in 1906. As the Orpheus Glee and Operatic Society of Ottawa (or the Orpheus Operatic Society), it gave Iolanthe in 1917 and by 1949 was presenting Broadway musicals and operettas. From 1949 to 1963 the Ottawa Grand Opera Company produced fully staged productions of The Bartered Bride, La bohème, Carmen, Faust, La Gioconda, Samson et Dalila, La traviata and Il trovatore. The Leipzig-trained musician Harry Puddicombe established the Canadian Conservatory of Music (1902–37). Its Canadian Conservatory Orchestra (1903–27), conducted by Donald Heins, was said by visitors from New York to be the finest community orchestra in North America. Subsequent orchestral organizations included the Ottawa Little Symphony (later the Ottawa SO; 1928–35), the LaSalle SO (1934–41), the Ottawa PO (1944–60) and the Ottawa Youth Orchestra (from 1960; still active). Choral ensembles included the Ottawa Women's Choir (1930s), the Ottawa Choral Union (from 1939; later the Ottawa Choral Society, still active), the Palestrina Choir (1946–58), and the Cantata Singers (from 1964; still active). The Tremblay concerts presented touring artists from 1929 to 1971, while the Twilight Music Club (later the Ottawa Music Club) began in 1930.

Musical activities expanded with the founding of the Canadian Centennial Choir (1967), the opening of music departments at Carleton University (1967) and the University of Ottawa (1970), and the formation of the Ottawa (Civic) SO (1965). In 1969 the National Arts Centre, with its 2236-seat opera house, a 969-seat theatre, a 350-seat studio and a 150-seat salon, opened as a national showcase for Canadian performers. Its musical centrepiece, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, achieved wide recognition under Mario Bernardi (1969–81), Franco Mannino (1982–6), Gabriel Chmura (1986–90), Trevor Pinnock (1991–6) and Pinchas Zukerman (1999–). Festival Ottawa (previously Festival Canada), founded in 1971, presented summer opera productions to 1983 and again from 1988 to 1991. Since 1984 Opera Lyra has produced operas in staged and concert formats. The Espace Musique Concert Society, founded in 1979, performs and commissions contemporary works. Other ensembles laid the foundation for the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, which in 1995 had 46 sold-out concerts within 12 days. By the end of the 20th century it had become the largest festival of its kind in the world.

Ottawa has had rich traditional music activities throughout its history. This musical heritage, encompassing some 60 ethnic groups now resident in the city, is celebrated in various clubs. Occasional or annual summer festivals such as the Homelands and Franco-Ontarien provide further venues for traditional music, country music and pop artists. The Ottawa Jazz (International) Festival was established in 1981, and in 1994 Bluesfest began.


EMC2 (J. Southworth)

D.A. Begg: A History of Orchestras in Ottawa from 1894 to 1960 (MA thesis, Carleton U., 1981)

F.A. Hall, ed.: Songs I to English Texts, The Canadian Musical Heritage, iii (Ottawa, 1985)

D. Gardner: A Celebration: Twenty-One Seasons of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (Ottawa, 1986)

E. Keillor: ‘Musical Activity in Canada's New Capital City in the 1870s’, Musical Canada: Words and Music Honouring Helmut Kallman, ed. J. Beckwith and F.A. Hall (Toronto, 1988), 115–33

D. Cooper, ed.: Opera and Operetta Excerpts I, The Canadian Musical Heritage, x (Ottawa, 1991)

F.A. Hall, ed.: Songs IV to English Texts, The Canadian Musical Heritage, xiv (Ottawa, 1993)

J. Beckwith, ed.: Oratorio and Cantata Excerpts I, The Canadian Musical Heritage, xviii (Ottawa, 1995)


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