Personalities | Antonio Caldara | Late Baroque | Opera

c. 1670–1736, Italian

Caldara was probably taught by Giovanni Legrenzi (1626–90) and was a choirboy at St Mark’s in Venice. His earliest operas were composed for Venice, while he was working as a cellist at St Mark’s. He was appointed maestro di cappella at Mantua to the last Gonzaga duke until about 1707, and then worked at Rome for Prince Ruspoli until about 1716. His most fertile years were spent in Vienna, where he was vice-Kapellmeister to Emperor Charles VI, and produced more than 35 dramatic works at the Habsburg court across 20 years. Meanwhile, the prolific Caldara also composed several operas for Salzburg. He was the first composer regularly to set libretti by reformers Apostolo Zeno (1669–1750) and Metastasio.

Caldara was one of the few composers of the era who regularly used choral forces in his operas, although his musical style for Vienna was required to be more conservative than it had been in Venice and Rome. Other composers must have admired Caldara’s work: his lost setting of Stampiglia’s La partenope (1708) for Venice probably impressed Handel, who was in Venice at the time, and composed his own setting for London many years later. Many of Caldara’s operas have survived, but have not yet been adequately explored.

Introduction | Late Baroque | Opera
Personalities | Giovanni Carestini | Late Baroque | Opera


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.