Personalities | Domenico Cimarosa | Classical Era | Classical

(Do-ma’-ne-ko Che-ma-rô’-za) 1749–1801
Italian composer

Trained in Naples, Cimarosa quickly launched himself on an operatic career with successes in Naples, Rome and Venice. In 1787 he was invited to St Petersburg. On the way home he paused at Vienna, where his Il matrimonio segreto (‘The Secret Marriage’) had a huge success in 1792 – uniquely, the entire opera was encored. Back in Naples, he got into trouble because of his Republican sympathies, so he went to Venice, where he died (possibly poisoned). He was thought in his day the equal of Mozart and Haydn for his 70-odd operas, serious as well as comic; it is the latter that survive, for their sparkle, vivacity and melodic warmth.

Recommended Recording:
Il matrimonio segreto, soloists, English Chamber Orchestra (cond) Daniel Barenboim (Deutsche Grammophon)

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