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Giovanni da Maiano

Giovanni da Maiano II was an Italian sculptor employed by Henry VIII of England and Cardinal Wolsey to decorate their palaces. Maiano, from which village Giovanni took his name, is near Florence, he was the son of Benedetto da Maiano. In June 1521, Giovanni wrote from Rome in Latin to Cardinal Wolsey requesting payment for his work at Hampton Court, he had made and gilded, eight terracotta medallions costing £2 6s 8d each, with three Stories of Hercules costing £4 each, with 20 shillings expense on fixing the sculptures. Some of these medallions commissioned by Wolsey can still be seen in place on the palace. From 1527 Giovanni worked with Hans Holbein the Younger on decorations at Greenwich Palace for Henry VIII; some of his relief decorations for a temporary banqueting house were made with old linen cloth in a papier-mâché technique. Edward Hall described these decorations in his Chronicle; the engraved decoration of armour produced in the royal workshop at Greenwich is thought to have been influenced by Giovanni's Italian renaissance style.

Giovanni began to work on a tomb for Wolsey with the Italian sculptor and bronze-founder, Benedetto da Rovezzano, but the project had to be abandoned after the Cardinal fell out of royal favour in 1529. The artist and biographer of artists, Giorgio Vasari mentions the project under Benedetto's name, but thought the tomb was for Henry VIII. "Hampton Court Palace Roundels Restored". The Guardian. 28 September 2011

Ralph Frary

Ralph Frary was a professional baseball player and umpire. From 1895 to 1906, Frary played in the minor leagues with several teams as a catcher and first baseman. Frary umpired 17 National League games in eight of them as the home plate umpire. Frary played catcher and first base with Montana and Seattle of the Pacific Coast League and Pacific National League, he signed with Nashville of the Southern League in 1906, having had "trouble at Seattle." In 1908, Frary umpired in the Northwestern League. That July, it was reported as "practically settled" that Frary would be promoted to the major leagues the following year; the next month, Frary made headlines when President Charley Wolf of the Spokane club accused him of being crooked and connected to gamblers. Frary demanded that the National Board of Minor Leagues either expel Wolf. In September, Aberdeen manager Bob Brown accused Frary of drunkenness on the field. Frary remained in the Northwestern League through the 1910 season, after which he stated that he would not return to the league without a generous boost in pay.

In June 1911, Frary was promoted to the National League umpiring staff. In his debut, Frary was the base umpire for a Christy Mathewson shutout against the Boston Rustlers. In July, Frary took a foul ball to the blood poisoning developed. Frary was able to return to the field in mid-August, but he came home within a few games when he was bothered by leg trouble again, he umpired his last NL game on August 14, 1911. Contrary to initial reports, Frary was not retained by the NL for the next season. Despite speculation that he might open a book at a local racetrack, he umpired in the Union Association in 1912 and 1913. In May 1914, Frary abruptly departed for a three-year contract in the Federal League. By 1915, Frary was back in the Northwestern League. In 1918, Frary ejected Salt Lake City pitcher Clarence "Popboy" Smith after an argument about which ball should be in play. After being tossed, Smith struck Frary with a punch; the pitcher received $250 fine. Before the 1920 season and two other umpires were fired from the Pacific Coast League staff by new league president William H. McCarthy.

Frary ran The Mecca, a Spokane saloon that served as a hangout for popular figures such as a young Jack Dempsey. The saloon was ordered closed in 1911 for harboring unsavory characters and selling liquor on Sundays. During the investigation of the saloon, Frary's wife was involved in a police chase. Mrs. Frary was wanted to testify before the commissioner's court, but she hurriedly jumped into a taxi to evade officers. Though the police car had mechanical problems, officers caught up to the cab and took Mrs. Frary into custody. Frary died in Aberdeen, Washington in November 1925

Riccardo Drigo

Riccardo Eugenio Drigo was an Italian composer of ballet music and Italian opera, a theatrical conductor, a pianist. Drigo is most noted for his long career as kapellmeister and Director of Music of the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg, for which he composed music for the original works and revivals of the choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Drigo served as Chef d'orchestre for Italian opera performances of the orchestra of the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre. During his career in Saint Petersburg, Drigo conducted the premieres and regular performances of nearly every ballet and Italian opera performed on the Tsarist stage. Drigo is noted for his original full-length compositions for the ballet as well as his large catalog of supplemental music written ad hoc for insertion into already-existing works. Drigo is noted for his adaptations of already-existing scores, such as his 1895 edition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's score for Swan Lake. Many pieces set to the music of Drigo are still performed today, are considered cornerstones of the classical ballet repertory.

Riccardo Eugenio Drigo was born in Padua, Italy on 30 June 1846. His father Silvio Drigo was a barrister and his mother, a noble Lupati, was active in politics. None of Drigo's family was distinguished in music, but at the age of five he began taking his first piano lessons from a family friend, the Hungarian Antonio Jorich. Drigo excelled and by his early teens he attained some local celebrity as a pianist, his father agreed to allow Drigo to attend the prestigious Venice Conservatory, where he studied under Antonio Buzzolla, a student of Gaetano Donizetti. Drigo scored his first compositions in his early teens, which were romances and waltzes. In 1862 he was allowed to perform some of his pieces with the local amateur orchestra in Padua. Through this performance, the young Drigo began to show interest in conducting. Drigo obtained his earliest position in an opera house as a rehearsal pianist and copyist to the Garibaldi Theatre, Padua in 1866, his first major opportunity as a theatrical conductor occurred in 1867 when the Garibaldi Theatre's kapellmeister fell ill on the eve of the premiere of Costantino Dall'Argine's three act opera bouffe I Due Orsi.

When the concertmaster refused to conduct the performance, he recommended Drigo, if only because the rehearsal pianist would know the score intimately. Drigo's conducting was successful, soon he was named second kapellmeister. In 1878 during the opera season in Padua the director of the Saint Petersburg Imperial Theatres, Baron Karl Karlovich Kister, attended a performance of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore which Drigo conducted. Kister was much impressed with Drigo's conducting talent, done without the aid of a score. Drigo presented Kister with some of his own compositions, which prompted Kister to offer Drigo a six-month contract to conduct the Saint Petersburg Imperial Italian Opera. After arriving in Saint Petersburg, Drigo was conducting the entire repertory of the Imperial Italian Opera, which at that time performed at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, he impressed the management a great deal, conducting such works as Verdi's Aida and Un ballo in maschera from memory. It was custom in Imperial Russia for all theatrical performances to be reported in detail in the newspapers, Drigo's performances were always reported with praise — "... the young gentleman will stay here a long time..." commented one columnist after attending an opera which Drigo conducted.

The Imperial Italian Opera was disbanded by Emperor Alexander III in 1884 in an effort to solidify the art of Russian operetta. This left the company's kapellmeister, without a position. In 1886 the Saint Petersburg Imperial Ballet's kapellmeister, Alexei Papkov, retired after thirty-four years of service, leaving the company without a principal conductor. Drigo took over the position before the beginning of the 1886–1887 season, making his debut as ballet conductor on 7 October 1886 with a performance of the old grand ballet The Pharaoh's Daughter, set to the score of Cesare Pugni, the most popular work in the repertory of the Imperial Ballet. In attendance for the performance was the Emperor and the Empress Maria Fyodorovna, both of whom were fanatic balletomanes and maintained the Imperial Theatres lavishly. So impressed was the Emperor by Drigo's conducting that during the final curtain calls he gave the conductor a standing ovation, ordered the rest of the house to follow suit; the Imperial Theatre's official composer of ballet music, the Austrian Ludwig Minkus, retired from his post in 1886.

The director of the Saint Peterbsurg Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky abolished the position of staff ballet composer in an effort to diversify the music supplied for new works. Since Drigo was well known as a composer, Vsevolozhsky employed him in the dual capacity of kapellmeister and Director of Music, a position which would require Drigo to fulfill all of the duties of the staff composer with regard to adapting and correcting scores at the behest of the Ballet Master; the Imperial Theatre's renowned Premier Maître de Ballet, the Frenchman Marius Petipa, revived Jules Perrot's 1841 romantic masterpiece La Esmeralda for the visiting Italian ballerina Virginia Zucchi in 1886. For the revival Drigo was assigned the task of refurbishing the old score of Cesare Pugni. Drigo was commissioned to compose a four-part Pas d'action to showcase the dramatic gifts of the ballerina Zucchi that included virtuoso solos for violin and cello, with the violin solo crafted for the great Leopold Auer, principal violinist in the Imperial Theatre's orchestra.

The revival of La Esmeralda premiered