Domenico Cimarosa

Born: Aversa, Italy - 17 December 1749
Died: Venice - 11 January 1801

Cimarosa was an Italian opera composer of the Neapolitan school of opera. Like many of his day, Cimarosa was never tied to one city for long, and his craft progressed as he moved from region to region and court to court.

Cimarosa was in his late thirties when he was invited to St. Petersburg by Empress Catherine the Great. His stay at the St. Petersburg court was brief - only four years - but his artistic output was prodigious. Unfortunately for history, much of it was short compositions written for specific official occasions, and thus not even named, let alone preserved.

There is an exception, however. Cimarosa's Requiem in G minor, written on the death of the wife of the French ambassador to St. Petersburg, is considered one of the composer's greatest works. In 1792, Cimarosa left Russia and traveled to Vienna at the invitation of Emperor Leopold II. He died in 1801 of intestinal inflammation.

Works premiered in St. Petersburg: Messa da Requiem in G minor (1787), La felicita inaspettata (1788), La vergine del sole (1788), La scuffiara (1788), La Cleopatra (27.9.1789)