From Ouida's (pseudonym of Maria Louise Ramé) long 1875 Victorian novel Signa: A Story, which describes an orphaned, unschooled Italian peasant child who achieves fame as the composer of the operas Lamia and Actea. He takes his name from the area of Tuscany he was born in, called Signa.
His uncle Bruno Marcillo looks out for him, and comes to a bad end.
Everywhere they were playing and singing his music, and it had even echoed over the Alps, and spread itself northward and southward, in that victory of the lyre with which his country has so often avenged herself for the invasions of the sword.
His music was in the throats of the people.
In grim Perugia Augusta, in dark Bologna, in smiling Como, in grand Ravenna, in the City of the syrens, in the busy marts of Milan, in sombre obscure Etruscan towns, in mighty opera houses, in little solitary theatres, anywhere, and everywhere the melodies of the Actea and the Lamia were ringing; they had the pure science which allures the cultured ear, and the potent sympathies which sway the multitudes; learned doctors followed their accurate combinations with delight in the solitude of the study, and boys and girls caught their sweet simplicity with rapture, and sang them to the woods and fields, as birds their love calls.