Domenico Cimarosa

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Domenico Cimarosa (December 17, 1749 - January 11, 1801), Italian classical composer, was born at Aversa, in the kingdom of Naples.

His parents were poor, but anxious to give their son a good education. After moving to Naples, they sent him to a free school connected with one of the monasteries in that city. The organist of the monastery, Padre Polcano, was struck by the boy's intellect, and voluntarily instructed him in the elements of music, and also in the ancient and modern literature of his country. Because of his influence, Cimarosa obtained a scholarship at the musical institute of Santa Maria di Loreto, where he remained for eleven years, chiefly studying the great masters of the old Italian school. Piccini, Sacchini and other musicians of repute are mentioned amongst his teachers.

At the age of twenty-three, Cimarosa began his career as a composer with an opera buffa called Le Stravaganze del Conte, first performed at the Teatro del Fiorentini at Naples in 1772. The work met with approval, and was followed in the same year by Le Pazzie di Stelladaura e di Zoroastro, a farce full of humour and eccentricity. This work was also successful, and the fame of the young composer began to spread all over Italy. In 1774 he was invited to Rome to write an opera for the stagione of that year; and there he produced another comic opera called L'Italiana in Londra.

The next thirteen years of Cimarosa's life were not marked by any event worth mentioning. He wrote a number of operas for the various theatres of Italy, living temporarily in Rome, in Naples, or wherever else his vocation as a conductor of his works happened to take him. From 1784 to 1787 he lived in Florence, writing exclusively for the theatre of that city. The productions of this period of his life are very numerous, consisting of operas, both comic and serious, cantatas, and various sacred compositions. The following works may be mentioned, amongst many others: Caio Mario; the three biblical operas, Assalone, La Giuditta and Il Sacrificio d'Abramo; also Il Convito di Pietra; and La Ballerina amante, a comic opera first performed at Venice with enormous success.

Around the year 1788, Cimarosa went to St Petersburg by invitation of the empress Catherine II. He remained at her court for four years and wrote an enormous number of compositions, mostly of the nature of pičces d'occasion. Of most of these not even the names are on record. In 1792 Cimarosa left St Petersburg, and went to Vienna at the invitation of the Emperor Leopold II. Here he produced his masterpiece, Il Matrimonio segreto, which ranks amongst the highest achievements of light operatic music. In 1793 Cimarosa returned to Naples, where Il Matrimonio segreto and other works were received with great acclaim. Amongst the works belonging to his last stay in Naples may be mentioned the charming opera Le Astuzie femminili.

This period of his life is said to have been embittered by the intrigues of envious and hostile persons, amongst whom figured his old rival Paisiello. During the occupation of Naples by the troops of the French Republic, Cimarosa joined the liberal party, and on the return of the Bourbons, was, like many of his political friends, condemned to death. By the intercession of influential admirers his sentence was commuted to banishment, and he left Naples with the intention of returning to St Petersburg. But his health was broken, and after much suffering he died in Venice on the 11th of January 1801, of inflammation of the intestines. The nature of his disease led to the rumour of his having been poisoned by his enemies, which, however, a formal inquest proved to be unfounded. He worked till the last moment of his life, and one of his operas, Artemizia, remained unfinished at his death.

Main works:

  • Le stravaganze del conte (carn.1772 Napoli F) [Le magie di Merlina e Zoroastro; Le pazzie di Stelladaura e Zoroastro]
  • La finta parigina (carn.1773 Napoli N)
  • I sdegni per amore (1.1776 Napoli N)
  • I matrimoni in ballo (carn.1776 Napoli N)
  • La frascatana nobile (win.1776 Napoli N) [La finta frascatana]
  • I tre amanti (carn.1777 Roma V) [Le gare degl'amanti]
  • Il fanatico per gli antiche romani (spr.1777 Napoli F)
  • L'Armida immaginaria (sum.1777 Napoli F)
  • Gli amanti comici, o sia La famiglia in scompiglio (1778? ?Napoli F; carn.1796 Crema) [Il matrimonio in commedia; La famiglia stravagante, ovvero Gli amanti comici]
  • Il ritorno di Don Calandrino (carn.1778 Roma V) [Armidoro e Laurina]
  • Le stravaganze d'amore (1778 Napoli F)
  • Il matrimonio per industria (1778? Napoli?) [?]
  • La contessina (sum.1778 Bologna) [?] [+ G. Astaritta, F.L. Gassmann]
  • Il matrimonio per raggiro (1778/9? Roma?; carn.1802 Roma V) [La donna bizzarra]
  • L'italiana in Londra (carn.1779 Roma V) [La virtł premiata]
  • L'infedeltą fedele (sum.1779 Napoli Fo)
  • Le donne rivali (carn.1780 Roma V) [et al.]
  • Cajo Mario (carn.1780 Roma D)
  • I finti nobili (carn.1780 Napoli F)
  • Il falegname (1780 Napoli F) [L'artista]
  • L'avviso ai maritati (1780? ?Napoli F) [?]
  • Il capriccio drammatico (1781? Torino?; 1794 London)
  • Il pittor parigino (carn.1781 Roma V) [Le brame deluse]
  • Alessandro nell'Indie (carn.1781 Roma A)
  • L'amante combattuto dalle donne di Punto (1781 Napoli F) [La biondolina; La giardiniera fortunata]
  • Giunio Bruto (aut.1781 Verona)
  • Giannina e Bernardone (aut.1781 Venezia SS) [Il villano geloso]
  • Il convito (carn.1782 Venezia SS) [Der Schmaus]
  • L'amor costante (carn.1782 Roma V) [Giulietta ed Armidoro]
  • L'eroe cinese (13.8.1782 Napoli SC)
  • La ballerina amante (1782 Napoli F) [L'amante ridicolo]
  • La Circe (carn.1783 Milano S)
  • I due baroni di Rocca Azzurra (carn.1783 Roma V) [Dve nevesty; I due baroni; La sposa in contrasto; Il barone deluso]
  • La villana riconosciuta (1783 Napoli Fo) [La villanella rapita]
  • Oreste (13.8.1783 Napoli SC)
  • Chi dell'altrui si veste presto si spoglia (1783 Napoli F) [Nina e Martuffo]
  • Il vecchio burlato (1783 Venezia) [?]
  • I matrimoni impensati (carn.1784 Roma V) [La bella greca]
  • L'apparenza inganna, o sia La villeggiatura (spr.1784 Napoli F)
  • La vanitą delusa (spr.1784 Firenze P) [Il mercato di Malmantile]
  • L'Olimpiade (10.7.1784 Vicenza)
  • I due supposti conti, ossia Lo sposo senza moglie (aut.1784 Milano S) [Lo sposo ridicolo]
  • Artaserse (26.12.1784 Torino TR)
  • Il barone burlato (1784 Napoli N) [rev. Il pittor parigino] [+ F. Cipolla]
  • Li finti conti (spr.1785 Torino, Gallo-Ughetti) [?]
  • I fratelli papamosche (spr.1785 Torino, Gallo-Ughetti) [?]
  • Le statue parlante (1785 Correggio) [?]
  • Il marito disperato (1785 Napoli F) [Il marito geloso; Die bestrafte Eifersucht]
  • La donna sempre al suo peggior s'appiglia (1785 Napoli N)
  • Il credulo (carn.1786 Napoli N) [La baronessa stramba; Il credulo deluso]
  • Le trame deluse (1786 Napoli N) [L'amor contrastato; Li raggiri scoperti]
  • L'impresario in angustie (1786 Napoli N) [Die theatralischen Abenteuer]
  • La baronessa stramba (1786 Napoli N) [rev. I matrimoni in ballo] [Il credulo]
  • Gli amanti alla prova (1786 Napoli) [?]
  • L'impostore punito (1786/7 Torino C) [?]
  • Volodimiro (carn.1787 Torino TR)
  • Il fanatico burlato (1787 Napoli Fo) [La burla felice; Der adelsüchtige Bürger]
  • La felicitą inaspettata (3.1788 St Peterburg E)
  • La vergine del sole (1788? ?St Peterburg E; 6.11.1789 St Peterburg BK)
  • La scuffiara (1788) [?]
  • La Cleopatra (8.10.1789 St Peterburg E) [Cleopatra e Marc'Antonio]
  • Il matrimonio segreto (7.2.1792 Wien B)
  • Sophie et Dorval () [rev. Il matrimonio segreto]
  • Il matrimonio per susurro () [?]
  • La calamitą dei cuori (1792/3 Wien B) [?]
  • Contrattempi (1793 Bonn) [?]
  • Amor rende sagace (1.4.1793 Wien B)
  • I traci amanti (19.6.1793 Napoli N) [Il padre alla moda, ossia Lo Sbarco di Mustanzir Bassą; Gli turchi amanti; Les amants turcs]
  • Le astuzie femminili (26.8.1794 Napoli F)
  • La pupilla astuta (1794 Napoli Fo) [?]
  • La serva innamorata (1794 Napoli F) [?]
  • Penelope (carn.1795 Napoli Fo)
  • Le nozze in garbuglio (1795 Messina)
  • L'impegno superato (1795 Napoli Fo)
  • La finta ammalata (1796 Lisboa)
  • I nemici generosi (carn.1796 Roma V) [Il duello per complimento]
  • Gli Orazi ed i Curiazi (carn.1797 Venezia F)
  • La morte di Assalonne (? Firenze, Oratorio) [rev. Gli Orazi ed i Curiazi]
  • Achille all'assedio di Troja (carn.1797 Roma A)
  • L'imprudente fortunato (carn.1797 Roma V)
  • Artemisia regina di Caria (sum.1797 Napoli SC)
  • Attilio Regolo (carn.1797 Reggio) [?]
  • Le nozze di Lauretta (1797? Torino) [?]
  • L'apprensivo raggirato (1798 Napoli F)
  • Il secreto (aut.1798 Torino C)
  • Semiramide (1799 Napoli F) [?]
  • Il conte di bell'amore () [?]
  • L'arte contro l'arte (carn.1800 Alexandria) [?]
  • Artemisia (carn.1801 Venezia F)
  • Il nuovo podestą (spr.1802 Bologna) [?]
  • Tiro Vespasiano (1821 Lisboa) [?]
  • La discordia fortunata () [?]
  • L'ajo nell'imbarazzo () [?]
  • Le donne vendicate () [?]
  • Il cavalier del dente () [?]
  • La Molinara (inc) [?]

Reference

de:Domenico Cimarosa fr:Domenico Cimarosa it:Domenico Cimarosa ja:ドメニコ・チマローザ pl:Domenico Cimarosa fi:Domenico Cimarosa

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