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Baldassare Galuppi

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Biography

Baldassarre Galuppi (18th October 1706-3rd January 1785) was an Italian composer from Venice, noted for his operas, particularly opera buffa.

He was born on the island of Burano in the Venetian Lagoon, as a result of which he became known as Il Buranello. His first attempt at opera, La fede nell’incostanza ossia gli amici rivali (1722) was a spectacular failure, being hissed off the stage. He subsequently studied music with Antonio Lotti, and, after a brief period in Florence working as a harpsichordist, returned to Venice for another attempt at opera. This time, his opera seria Dorinda (1729) was a success and launched his theatrical career.

In 1740 he was appointed music director of the Ospedale dei Mendicanti, and he worked at St Mark’s in Venice from 1748, being appointed maestro di cappella, considered Venice’s top musical post, there in 1762. He lived and worked for most of his life in Venice, though from 1741 to 1743 he worked in London and from 1765 to 1768 he worked for Catherine the Great in St Petersburg.

His first opera buffa was L’Arcadia in Brenta (1749). This was also his first collaboration with librettist Carlo Goldoni, with whom he produced a number of operas. These works were very popular, with Il filosofo di campagna (1754) a particular success.

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