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Francesco Cavalli

Francesco Cavalli

La Didone  Théâtre de Caen  18-10-2011
Francesco Cavalli
Théâtre de Caen

Francesco Cavalli's life

Francesco Cavalli was born in Crema in 1602; his real name was Pier Francesco Caletti-Bruni. At the age of fourteen, he was taken to Venezia by a wealthy patron, Federico Cavalli. As Pier Francesco became famous as a singer, he acquired the last name of his patron as a means of gratitude and respect. Federico Cavalli was the governor of Crema and had considerable influence which he used for Francesco’s benefit. During his teenage, he received the musical guidance of Claudio Monteverdi. Cavalli’s first published work appeared in 1625, which was a solo motet named Cantate Domino. From being a choir singer, he rose to great heights in his career and became maestro di cappella. Cavalli was greatly influenced by Monteverdi, who was hailed as the best composer of that time. In fact, most of Cavalli’s works behold the influence of Monteverdi and were equally melodious, pleasant and emotionally powerful. After Monteverdi’s death, Cavalli succeeded him in the music arena and became even more famous as a composer, gaining immense popularity especially in the field of operas. His reputation and respect grew to the extent that he was summoned to Paris to present an opera at the grand wedding of Louis XIV. It was Cavalli, who succeeded in making opera an interesting source of entertainment. His works were mostly carved for small string orchestras which were presented in the public opera houses.He died in Venice in 1676.

Cavalli's Operas

La Didone (1641), L'Ormindo (1644), Egisto (1646), and L'Erismena (1655) are considered to be his most prominent works and require a special mention. 
His other operas are: Le nozze di Teti e Peleo (1639), Gli amori di Apollo e Dafne (1640), Narcisso et Ecco immortalati (1642), La virtù de' strali d'Amore (1642),L'Egisto (1643), La Deidamia (1644), L'Ormindo (1644), Il Romolo e 'l Remo (1645), La Doriclea (1645), Il Titone (1645), La prosperità infelice di Giulio Cesare dittatore (1646), La Torilda (1648), Il Giasone (1649), L'Euripo (1649), La Bradamante (1650), Orimonte (1650), L'Oristeo (1651), La Rosinda (1651), L'Armidoro (1651), La Calisto (1651), Veremonda, l'amazzone di Aragona (1652), L'Eritrea (1652), L'Helena rapita da Teseo (1653), L'Orione ( 1653), Il Serse (1654), Il Ciro (1654), La Statira, principessa di Persia (1655), L'Erismena (1655), L'Artemisia (1656), L'Antioco (1658), L'Hipermestra (1658), L'Elena (1659), La pazzia in trono, ossia il Caligola delirante (1660), L'Ercole amante (1662), Scipione Africano (1664), Il Mutio Scevola (1665), Il Pompeo Magno (1666), L'Eliogabalo (1667).


Cavalli's La Didone

La Didone by Cavalli is a jewel of Italian Baroque in music: it is an opera of extreme tragedy, one of the most sinister of the Seventeenth Century. Some scenes are musically and dramatically comical turning into bitter sarcasm, all deep in a flowing musical discourse, which tells about a long painful lament expressed by practically every characters. A music thick in drama and with a hint of heroism, kept together by the story of Aenea and the Trojan war implications. We remind you that La Didone was the first opera by Francesco Cavalli to be represented in modern times, in 1952, for the three hundred-fiftieth anniversary of the author's birth.
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