Johann(es) Simon Mayr (also spelled Majer, Mayer, Maier), also known in Italian as Giovanni Simone Mayr or Simone Mayr (14 June 1763 – 2 December 1845), was a German composer.
He was born in Mendorf near Altmannstein, Landkreis Eichstätt, Bavaria, and studied theology at the University of Ingolstadt, continuing his studies in Italy from 1787. He was closely associated with the Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt while a student in Ingolstadt, and the ideals of the French Enlightenment were a strong influence on his philosophy as a musician as corroborated by his famed Zibaldone or "Notebooks" compiled toward the end of his career.
Shortly thereafter, he took music lessons with Carlo Lenzi, and later with Ferdinando Bertoni. He moved to Bergamo in 1802 and was appointed maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of Bergamo, succeeding his old teacher Lenzi. He held the post until his death, and became a central figure in the city's musical life, organizing concerts and introducing Ludwig van Beethoven's music there. He was music teacher to Gaetano Donizetti. By the end of his life, he was blind. He died in Bergamo and is buried in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore there, just in front of the tomb of his famous pupil.
Mayr's works, among which there are almost seventy operas, are rarely performed today.
See List of compositions by Simon Mayr and List of operas by Simon Mayr
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Ginevra di Scozia is an opera in two acts by Simon Mayr set to an Italian libretto by Gaetano Rossi based on Antonio Salvi's Ginevra, principessa di Scozia, which in turn was adapted from cantos 5 and 6 of Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Ginevra di Scozia premiered on 21 April 1801 at the Regio Teatro Nuovo in Trieste to celebrate the inauguration of the new theatre. The story is virtually identical to that of Handel's Ariodante which shares the same source for the libretto.
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Tobiae matrimonium, actio sacra pro filiabus chori S. Lazari is a 1794 oratorio by Simon Mayr to a Latin libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa. It was the third of Mayr's works written for the Ospedale dei Mendicanti. No exact date or circumstances for the original performance are known.
Sisara is a 1793 Latin oratorio by Simon Mayr to a libretto by Giuseppe Foppa who also supplied the Latin texts for Iacob a Labano fugiens (1791) and Tobiae matrimonium (1794).
La passione di Gesù Cristo, is a 1794 Italian-language oratorio for soloists, choir and orchestra by Simon Mayr, to an adapted version of the famous libretto La passione di Gesù Cristo by Metastasio. Unlike Mayr's four Latin-language oratorios to librettos by Giuseppe Foppa for the Conservatorio dei Mendicanti, La passione was written for a church, and not limited to girls voices.
Samuele is an 1821 Italian-language oratorio by Simon Mayr to a libretto by Bartolomeo Merelli. It was performed on 2 June 1821 in Bergamo's Congregazione della Carità by pupils of the Lezioni caritatevoli to welcome the arrival of the new bishop Pietro Mola.
Innalzamento al trono del giovane re Gioas is an oratorio by Simon Mayr premiered in Florence in 1823. The anonymous libretto is unrelated to the two dozen other oratorios of the name Gioas, all of them based on the 1735 libretto Gioas re di Giuda by Metastasio.
Atalia is an Italian-language oratorio by Simon Mayr to a libretto by Felice Romani, premiered in Naples, 1822.
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