Personalities | Alessandro Scarlatti | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera

1660–1725, Italian

Sicilian-born Alessandro Scarlatti came to the attention of the Italian opera world with his first opera, Gli equivoci nel sembiante (‘Mistaken Identities’, 1679), which he wrote when he was only 19. The work was soon being staged by opera houses outside Rome, but this was not the limit of Scarlatti’s new renown. At around the same time, he was appointed maestro di cappella to the generous patron of the arts Queen Christina of Sweden. By the time he was 24 and the composer of six operas, Scarlatti was maestro di cappella to the Viceroy of Naples and also director of the city’s Teatro San Bartolomeo.

By 1702, Scarlatti had written at least 40 operas, but life and work in Naples seemed to pall and Scarlatti resigned his position. He hoped to join the de’ Medici court in Florence and sent four operas to Prince Ferdinand de’ Medici as proof of his abilities, but nothing came of this. In 1708, Scarlatti returned to Naples where he scored two of his most brilliant successes, with Tigrane (1715) and Cambise (1719). Ultimately Scarlatti’s connection with Naples helped to establish the city as a centre of opera during the eighteenth century.

Introduction | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Major Operas | Mitridate Eupatore by Alessandro Scarlatti | Early & Middle Baroque
Personalities | Giovanni Francesco Grossi Siface | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Houses & Companies | Baroque Opera in Naples | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera


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