Personalities | Luigi Rossi | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera

c. 1597–1653, Italian

Luigi Rossi served for a time at the Neapolitan court before joining the Borghese family in his native city of Rome in 1621. Twenty years later, he entered the service of the Barberini family, who were influential patrons of opera. Rossi’s first opera, Il palazzo incantato (‘The Enchanted Palace’, 1642), received its first performance in the Barberini palace. The production was lavish, and Rossi’s opera became one of the most admired in the Italian Baroque repertoire.

The Barberini family were exiled from Italy in 1644, and in 1646 Luigi Rossi followed them to Paris, where King Louis XIV’s influential chief minister, Jules Mazarin, invited the composer to attend the court. Rossi’s arrival was fortuitous, since Mazarin had been attempting for some time to introduce Italian opera in France. Rossi’s Orfeo (1647) was all Mazarin could have hoped for. The opera represented the height of the luxurious and spectacular Roman opera of the seventeenth century, and it created enormous interest in France. This Orfeo was strong on visual effects, and Rossi’s music was both lyrical and expressive.

Introduction | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Major Operas | Orfeo by Luigi Rossi | Early & Middle Baroque
Personalities | Antonio Sartorio | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Houses & Companies | The Barberini Family | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera


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