At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Ignazio Fiorillo – composer

Talented Neapolitan influenced music in Germany


Fiorillo studied music at the Naples  Conservatory in his home town
Fiorillo studied music at the Naples
Conservatory in his home town
Ignazio Fiorillo, who is remembered as an opera seria composer, was born in Naples on this day in 1715.

Fiorillo often composed music for the libretti of the acclaimed writer, Pietro Metastasio, creating the type of noble and serious operas that were fashionable in Europe in the 18th century.

After studying music at the Naples Conservatory, Fiorillo composed the opera L’Egeste, which was premiered in Trieste in 1733.

Another of his operas, Mandane, was first performed at the Teatro Sant’Angelo in Venice in 1736.

Fiorillo was later engaged as a composer for an ensemble specialising in performances for children and toured Europe with them.

Pietro Metastasio was one of the most  acclaimed librettists of his day
Pietro Metastasio was one of the most
acclaimed librettists of his day
In 1749 they stayed in Braunschweig in Germany at the court of Carl I von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. Fiorillo was appointed court composer the following year and during his remaining time at Braunschweig composed most of his operas.

He became composer to the court of Frederick II Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel in 1762 and went on to improve significantly the quality of court opera in Kassel. He also composed intermezzi and stage music for court theatre.

Ignazio Fiorillo retired in 1779 and died in Fritlar in Germany in 1787.

His son, Federigo, who had been born in 1753, became a violinist and composer and is best remembered for his collection of études.

The Naples Conservatory adjoins the church of San Pietro a Majella
The Naples Conservatory adjoins the church
of San Pietro a Majella
Travel tip:

A Neapolitan by birth, Fiorillo studied at the Naples Music Conservatory. Today, the Music Conservatory is in the complex of San Pietro a Majella, close to Via dei Tribunali, one of the main thoroughfares in the heart of the centro storico in Naples. It is the last in a long series of establishments that were once music conservatories in Naples, dating back to when the Spanish ruled the city in the 16th century. One of the earliest, I Poveri di Gesù Cristo, was founded in 1589 by Marcello Fossataro, a Franciscan monk. It was next to the Church of Santa Maria a Colonna on Via dei Tribunale, but in 1743 it was converted into a church seminary.

The Palazzo Barocci, now a top hotel, is only a short  distance from the Sant'Angelo vaporetto stop
The Palazzo Barocci, now a top hotel, is only a short
 distance from the Sant'Angelo vaporetto stop
Travel tip:

Teatro Sant’Angelo, where Fiorillo’s opera Mandane, was premiered in 1736, was a theatre in Venice between 1677 and 1803. It was in Campo Sant’Angelo facing the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge and was the venue for many operas by Antonio Vivaldi and plays by Carlo Goldoni. After the theatre closed, the building was converted into a warehouse, but was later demolished and rebuilt as the Palazzo Barocci. Today it is the four-star Hotel NH Collection Palazzo Barocci, just a few steps from the Sant’Angelo vaporetto stop.


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