Jakob Greber (?-1731)

Jakob (Giacomo) Greber’s first recorded appearance in London is in 1703, when he provided incidental music for a play at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields theatre. His opera Gli amore d’Ergastowas the first to be produced at the Haymarket, and so inaugurated the performance of Italian opera in London. In this period his association with the singer Francesca Margarita de l’Epine was the cause of some comment. Prior to coming to London he is said by contemporary sources to have studied in Italy, but nothing is known of this period of his life. However, the fact that he was referred to in 1703 as ‘Signior Jacomo Greber’ perhaps indicates his status as an Italian composer. On his return to Germany he served the Duke Karl Philipp first in Innsbruck and later, after Karl Philipp became Elector Palatine, in Neuberg, Heidelberg and Mannheim, where he became joint kapellmeister with Johann Hugo von Wilderer. Greber has left a modest body of compositions including several stage and celebratory works, and a small number of cantatas.

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