The Early Years - Sicily
Antonino Francesco Domenico Felice Carmine Riggio (o Reggio) was born in Aci Catena on the 8th January 1725.
His father was Gioacchino and mother was Isabella Giorni. On the following day he was
baptised in the
There appears to be two spellings of the family name; Reggio and Riggio. The spelling of Riggio seems to be used in Sicilian sources although both spellings are used simultaneously. The family home of Luigi in Aci Catena is referred to as the Palazzo Riggio. I have standardized on the use of the spelling Reggio.
Antonino was eight his father died, leaving his widowed mother with twelve children.
It is believed that his mother went to live with her family. It is possible
that Antonino went to live with his godfather, Andrea Reggio. Don Andrea had
married Antonino’s sister, Antonina. When he was old enough to enter the church
it is possible he was in a seminary in
reasoning behind this is that between 1745 and 1750 Antonino composed his first
works, the manuscripts for which are annotated with dates, names and places. Many
of these early manuscripts are dedicated to members of the
would probably have been ordained as a priest in 1749/50. He claimed the status
of Abate with the monastery of Sant’Angelo di Brolo, a ‘benefici
ecclesiastici’ in the region of
With regard to Antonino’s compositions his early works were composed during the period 1745-1750 in the years prior to his ordination as priest. These works are mainly sacred including masses, oratorios, cantatas, motets and sacred songs. The cantatas and songs were composed for various members of the Sicilian nobility.
Issue 1. 11/1/11 ©Anthony Hart 2011