Francesco Cavalli (born Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni 14 February 1602 – 14 January 1676) was an Italian composer of the early Baroque period. He took the name "Cavalli" from his patron, Venetian nobleman Federico Cavalli.
Cavalli was born at Crema, Lombardy. He became a singer (soprano) at St Mark's Basilica in Venice in 1616, where he had the opportunity to work under the tutorship of Claudio Monteverdi. He became second organist in 1639, first organist in 1665, and in 1668 maestro di cappella . He is chiefly remembered for his operas. He began to write for the stage in 1639 ( Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo ) soon after the first public opera house opened in Venice, the Teatro San Cassiano. He established so great a reputation that he was summoned to Paris from 1660 (he revived his opera Xerse ) until 1662, producing his Ercole amante . He died in Venice at the age of 73.
Crema is a city and comune in the province of Cremona, in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is built along the river Serio at 43 kilometres (27 mi) from Cremona. It is also the seat of the Catholic Bishop of Crema, who gave the title of city to Crema.
The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, commonly known as St Mark's Basilica, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, northern Italy. It is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. It lies at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has been the city's cathedral only since 1807, when it became the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, formerly at San Pietro di Castello.
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, string player and choirmaster. A composer of both secular and sacred music, and a pioneer in the development of opera, he is considered a crucial transitional figure between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods of music history.
Cavalli was the most influential composer in the rising genre of public opera in mid-17th-century Venice. Unlike Monteverdi's early operas, scored for the extravagant court orchestra of Mantua, Cavalli's operas make use of a small orchestra of strings and basso continuo to meet the limitations of public opera houses.
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy, and capital of the province of the same name.
An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building.
Cavalli introduced melodious arias into his music and popular types into his libretti. His operas have a remarkably strong sense of dramatic effect as well as a great musical facility, and a grotesque humour which was characteristic of Italian grand opera down to the death of Alessandro Scarlatti. Cavalli's operas provide the only example of a continuous musical development of a single composer in a single genre from the early to the late 17th century in Venice — only a few operas by others (e.g., Monteverdi and Antonio Cesti) survive. The development is particularly interesting to scholars because opera was still quite a new medium when Cavalli began working, and had matured into a popular public spectacle by the end of his career.
A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.
Pietro Alessandro Gaspare Scarlatti was an Italian Baroque composer, known especially for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera. He was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti.
Pietro Marc'Antonio Cesti, known today primarily as an Italian composer of the Baroque era, was also a singer (tenor), and organist. He was "the most celebrated Italian musician of his generation".
Cavalli wrote forty-one operas, twenty-seven of which are extant, being preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Library of St Mark) in Venice. Copies of some of the operas also exist in other locations. In addition, two last operas (Coriolano and Masenzio), which are clearly attributed to him, are lost, as well as twelve other operas that have been attributed to him, though the music is lost and attribution impossible to prove.
The Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana is a library and Renaissance building in Venice, northern Italy. It is one of the earliest surviving public libraries and depositories for manuscript in Italy and holds one of the greatest collections of classical texts in the world. It is named after St. Mark, the patron saint of the city.
In addition to operas, Cavalli wrote settings of the Magnificat in the grand Venetian polychoral style, settings of the Marian antiphons, other sacred music in a more conservative manner – notably a Requiem Mass in eight parts (SSAATTBB), probably intended for his own funeral – and some instrumental music.
The Magnificat is a canticle, also known as the Song of Mary, the Canticle of Mary and, in the Byzantine tradition, the Ode of the Theotokos. It is traditionally incorporated into the liturgical services of the Catholic Church and of the Eastern Orthodox churches. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn. Its name comes from the incipit of the Latin version of the canticle's text.
The Venetian polychoral style was a type of music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras which involved spatially separate choirs singing in alternation. It represented a major stylistic shift from the prevailing polyphonic writing of the middle Renaissance, and was one of the major stylistic developments which led directly to the formation of what is now known as the Baroque style. A commonly encountered term for the separated choirs is cori spezzati—literally, separated choirs.
An antiphon is a short chant in Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose and they feature prominently in Ambrosian chant, but they are used widely in Gregorian chant as well. They may be used during Mass, for the Introit, the Offertory or the Communion. They may also be used in the Liturgy of the Hours, typically for Lauds or Vespers.
|Title||Libretto||Première date||Place, theatre||Notes|
|Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo||Orazio Persiani||24 January 1639||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|Gli amori d'Apollo e di Dafne||Giovanni Francesco Busenello||1640||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|La Didone||Giovanni Francesco Busenello||1641||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|L'amore innamorato||Giovanni Battista Fusconi||1 January 1642||Venice, Teatro San Moisè|
|Narciso et Ecco immortalati||Orazio Persiani||30 January 1642||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo||lost|
|La virtù dei strali d'Amore||Giovanni Faustini||1642||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|L'Egisto||Giovanni Faustini||autumn 1643||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|La Deidamia||Scipione Herrico||5 January 1644||Venice, Teatro Novissimo||lost|
|L'Ormindo||Giovanni Faustini||1644||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|Il Romolo e 'l Remo||Giulio Strozzi||1645||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo||lost|
|La Doriclea||Giovanni Faustini||1645||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|Il Titone||Giovanni Faustini||1645||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano||lost|
|La prosperità infelice di Giulio Cesare dittatore||Giovanni Francesco Busenello||1646||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo||lost|
|La Torilda||Pietro Paolo Bissari||1648||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo or Teatro San Cassiano||lost|
|Il Giasone||Giacinto Andrea Cicognini||5 January 1649||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|L'Euripo||Giovanni Faustini||1649||Venice, Teatro San Moise||lost|
|L'Orimonte||Nicolò Minato||23 February 1650||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano|
|La Bradamante||Pietro Paolo Bissari||1650||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo||lost|
|L'Armidoro||Bortolo Castoreo||20 January 1651||Venice, Teatro Sant 'Apollinare||lost|
|L'Oristeo||Giovanni Faustini||9 February 1651||Venice, Teatro Sant'Apollinare|
|La Rosinda||Giovanni Faustini||1651||Venice, Teatro Sant'Apollinare||also known as Le magie amorose|
|La Calisto||Giovanni Faustini||28 November 1651||Venice, Teatro Sant'Apollinare|
|L'Eritrea||Giovanni Faustini||17 January 1652||Venice, Teatro Sant'Apollinare|
|La Veremonda, l'amazzone di Aragona||Giacinto Andrea Cicognini and Giulio Strozzi||21 December 1652||Naples, Nuovo Teatro del Palazzo Reale||also known as Il Delio|
|L'Orione||Francesco Melosio||June 1653||Milan, Teatro Real|
|Il Xerse||Nicolò Minato||12 January 1654||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo|
|Il Ciro||Giulio Cesare Sorrentino||30 January 1654||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo||in collaboration with Andrea Mattioli|
|L'Erismena||Aurelio Aureli||30 December 1655||Venice, Teatro Sant'Apollinare|
|Statira principessa di Persia||Giovanni Francesco Busenello||18 January 1656||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo|
|L'Artemisia||Nicolò Minato||10 January 1657||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo|
|L'Hipermestra||Giovanni Andrea Moniglia||12 June 1658||Florence, Teatro degli Immobili|
|L'Antioco||Nicolò Minato||12 January 1659||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano||lost|
|Il rapimento d'Helena||Giovanni Faustini and Nicolò Minato||26 December 1659||Venice, Teatro San Cassiano||also known as Elena|
|La pazzia in trono, ossia il Caligola delirante||Domenico Gisberti||1660||Venice, Teatro Sant'Apollinare||lost|
|Ercole amante||Francesco Buti||7 February 1662||Paris, at the Salles des Machines in the Tuileries Palace||Ballet music by Jean-Baptiste Lully|
|Scipione affricano||Nicolò Minato||9 February 1664||Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo|
|Muzio Scevola||Giovanni Faustini and Nicolò Minato||26 January 1665||Venice, Teatro San Samuele|
|Pompeo Magno||Nicolò Minato||20 February 1666||Venice, Teatro San Salvatore|
|Eliogabalo||Aurelio Aureli||composed 1667, premiered 2004||Venice, Teatro San Salvatore||It was never staged and was replaced by another opera of the same name by Giovanni Antonio Boretti.|
|Coriolano||Cristoforo Ivanovich||27 May 1669||Piacenza, Teatro Ducale||lost|
|Masenzio||Giacomo Francesco Bussani||composed 1673||unperformed and lost|
Cavalli's music was revived in the twentieth century. The Glyndebourne production of La Calisto is an example.More recently, Hipermestra was performed at Glyndebourne in 2017. The discography is extensive and Cavalli has featured in BBC Radio 3's Composer of the Week series.
Barbara Strozzi was an Italian singer and composer. Her Baroque compositions were published in her lifetime.
Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria is an opera consisting of a prologue and five acts, set by Claudio Monteverdi to a libretto by Giacomo Badoaro. The opera was first performed at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice during the 1639–1640 carnival season. The story, taken from the second half of Homer's Odyssey, tells how constancy and virtue are ultimately rewarded, treachery and deception overcome. After his long journey home from the Trojan Wars Ulisse, king of Ithaca, finally returns to his kingdom where he finds that a trio of villainous suitors are importuning his faithful queen, Penelope. With the assistance of the gods, his son Telemaco and a staunch friend Eumete, Ulisse vanquishes the suitors and recovers his kingdom.
L'incoronazione di Poppea is an Italian opera by Claudio Monteverdi. It was Monteverdi's last opera, with a libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello, and was first performed at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice during the 1643 carnival season. One of the first operas to use historical events and people, it describes how Poppaea, mistress of the Roman emperor Nero, is able to achieve her ambition and be crowned empress. The opera was revived in Naples in 1651, but was then neglected until the rediscovery of the score in 1888, after which it became the subject of scholarly attention in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the 1960s, the opera has been performed and recorded many times.
Giulio Strozzi was a Venetian poet and libretto writer. His libretti were put to music by composers like Claudio Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli, Francesco Manelli, and Francesco Sacrati. He sometimes used the pseudonym Luigi Zorzisto.
L'Arianna is the lost second opera by Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi. One of the earliest operas in general, it was composed in 1607–1608 and first performed on 28 May 1608, as part of the musical festivities for a royal wedding at the court of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga in Mantua. All the music is lost apart from the extended recitative known as "Lamento d'Arianna". The libretto, which survives complete, was written in eight scenes by Ottavio Rinuccini, who used Ovid's Heroides and other classical sources to relate the story of Ariadne's abandonment by Theseus on the island of Naxos and her subsequent elevation as bride to the god Bacchus.
La Calisto is an opera by Francesco Cavalli from a libretto by Giovanni Faustini based on the mythological story of Callisto.
The Teatro San Cassiano or Teatro di San Cassiano in Venice was the first public opera house when it opened in 1637. The theater was a stone building owned by the Venetian Tron family, and took its name from the neighbourhood where it was located, the parish of San Cassiano near the Rialto. It was considered 'public' as it was directed by an impresario, or general manager, for the paying public rather than for nobles exclusively.
Anna Renzi was an Italian soprano renowned for her acting ability as well as her voice, who has been described as the first diva in the history of opera.
Count Nicolò Minato was an Italian poet, librettist and impresario. His career can be divided into two parts: the years he spent at Venice, from 1650 to 1669, and the years at Vienna, from 1669 until his death.
Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo is an opera by Francesco Cavalli - specifically, an opera scenica or festa teatrale. The work, set to a libretto by Orazio Persiani, was Cavalli's first opera, and was first performed at the Venetian opera house Teatro San Cassiano on 24 January 1639. It is also the first Venetian opera for which a score survives to this day.
Giovanni Faustini was an Italian librettist and opera impresario of the 17th century. He is best remembered for his collaborations with the composer Francesco Cavalli.
Artemisia is an opera in three acts and a prologue by the Italian composer Francesco Cavalli from a libretto written by Nicolò Minato. It was first performed at the Teatro San Giovanni e San Paolo, Venice on 10 January 1657 and revived in Naples in 1658, Palermo in 1659, Milan in 1663 and Genoa in 1665.
The Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo was a theatre and opera house in Venice located on the Calle della Testa, and takes its name from the nearby Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice. Built by the Grimani family in 1638, in its heyday it was considered the most beautiful and comfortable theatre in the city. The theatre played an important role in the development of opera and saw the premieres of several works by Francesco Cavalli, as well as Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and L'incoronazione di Poppea.
The Accademia degli Incogniti was a learned society of freethinking intellectuals, mainly noblemen, that significantly influenced the cultural and political life of mid-17th century Venice. The society was founded in 1630 by Giovanni Francesco Loredano and Guido Casoni, and derived its basic Aristotelian philosophy from Cesare Cremonini, a Peripatetic who was professor of philosophy at the University of Padua. The society included historians, poets, and librettists.
Giovanni Rovetta was an Italian Baroque composer and maestro di capella of the Capella Marciana at St Mark's Basilica, Venice between Monteverdi and Cavalli.
The Cappella Marciana is the modern name for the choir and instrumentalists of St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy.
The Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), in addition to a large output of church music and madrigals, wrote prolifically for the stage. His theatrical works were written between 1604 and 1643 and included ten operas, of which three—L'Orfeo (1607), Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1640) and L'incoronazione di Poppea (1643)—have survived with their music and librettos intact. In the case of the other seven operas, the music has disappeared almost entirely, although some of the librettos exist. The loss of these works, written during a critical period of early opera history, has been much regretted by commentators and musicologists.
Ghirlanda sacra scielta da diversi eccellentissimi compositori de varii motetti à voce sola is a compilation of 44 single-voice motets in the new style assembled by Leonardo Simonetti. Simonetti was a chorister in the Cappella Marciana, and placed his master Claudio Monteverdi at the head of the collection with four pieces, following it with other composers from the area of Venice and Veneto. A second printing followed in 1636.