Domenico Cimarosa

Domenico Cimarosa

Birth
Aversa, Provincia di Caserta, Campania, Italy
Death 11 Jan 1801 (aged 51)
Venice, Città Metropolitana di Venezia, Veneto, Italy
Burial Venice, Città Metropolitana di Venezia, Veneto, Italy
Plot Site demolished in 1837
Memorial ID 22205213 · View Source
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Composer. One of the leading creators of opera buffa, or Italian comic opera, of his era. His stage works were widely popular for their vivacity and sparkling melodies. During the early 19th Century he was often ranked with Mozart and Haydn, though today only his masterpiece, "Il matrimonio segreto" (1792), remains in the repertory. The son of a poor bricklayer, Cimarosa was born in Aversa, Italy. On the strength of his precocious musical gifts he was awarded a scholarship at the Naples Conservatory, where he studied for 11 years. His first opera, "Le stravaganze del cante" (1772), was performed immediately after his graduation. For over a decade he largely divided his time between Naples and Rome, churning out operas for both cities, while also serving as music director of the Ospedaletto Conservatory in Venice; by the mid-1780s his music was being played from England to Russia. From 1787 to 1791 he was gainfully employed at the St. Petersburg court of Catherine II and in 1791 he was appointed Kapellmeister of Vienna, where "Il matrimonio segreto" was premiered to the immense delight of Emperor Leopold II. The Austrian monarch died soon afterwards and Cimarosa returned to Naples. Political strife marred his final years. When Napoleon's army occupied Naples in January 1799, the composer vocally supported the new Neopolitan Republic; upon the restoration of King Ferdinand IV in July he was imprisoned and condemned to death. The King released him several months later under sentence of permanent banishment. Disgraced in Italy, Cimarosa was planning to settle in Russia when he died suddenly in Venice at 51. Rumors he had been poisoned led the Venetian government to order an autopsy, which determined the cause of death as cancer. He was buried at the Chiesa di Sant' Angelo. Apparently no attempt was made to relocate his remains when this church was demolished in 1837. Cimarosa's approximately 60 operas include "Cajo Mario" (1780), "I due baroni" (1783), "Il maestro di cappella" (1790), and "Gli Orazi ed i Curiazi" (1796). He also composed some 20 Masses, five oratorios, and a good deal of instrumental music. Some of his chamber pieces have been successfully revived, though most of his theatrical output has been consigned to oblivion.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 15 Oct 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 22205213
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Domenico Cimarosa (17 Dec 1749–11 Jan 1801), Find a Grave Memorial no. 22205213, citing Chiesa di Sant' Angelo (Defunct), Venice, Città Metropolitana di Venezia, Veneto, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .