DONIZETTI:
IMPORTANT DATES
1797 - 29 November : Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti is born in Borgo Canale, a suburb of Bergamo
1806 - In April, at the age of eight, Donizetti is admitted to the course of Lezioni Caritatevoli di Musica which the Maestro di Cappella of the city's basilica, Johann Simon Mayr, had begun following a subsidy from the Misericordia Maggiore.
1815 - After nine years as a pupil of the Lezioni Caritatevoli and on Mayer's insistence, in October Donizetti is sent to Bologna to complete his musical education. The young Donizetti is received by the famous teacher Padre Stanislao Mattei in the city's Liceo Filarmonico.
1816 - After an intense study of counterpoint and fugue under Mattei, Donizetti composes his first opera, Il Pigmalione , staged after his death in Bergamo in 1960.
1818 - Donizetti's debut as composer of operas is made with Enrico di Borgogna , staged on 14 November at the Teatro S. Luca in Venice.
1822 - The composer's first major success follows the performance of Zoraide di Granata at the Teatro Argentina in Rome on 28 January. Here he meets, among others, the literary figure, Jacopo Ferretti, and the Vasselli family.
1824 - With Ferretti's libretto, L'ajo nell'imbarazzo is staged at the Teatro Valle on 4 February and is met with an extremely positive reception . This opera marks his first minor masterpiece in the comic genre.
1828 - On 1 June he marries Virginia Vasselli in Rome. The couple settle in Naples.
1830 - On 26 December at Milan's Teatro Carcano Anna Bolena enjoys enormous success and Donizetti establishes himself as one of the greatest composers of opera in Europe.
1832 - Another immediate success is provided by L'elisir d'amore at Milan's Teatro della Canobbiana on 12 May.
1834 - On 28 June he is officially appointed “Maestro of Counterpoint and Composition” at the Real Collegio (a conservatoire) of Naples.
1835 - Following an invitation from Rossini, Doniztti leaves for Paris where he stages Marin Faliero at the Thé â tre des Italiens (12 March). This work, expressly written for a foreign theatre, marks his debut abroad.
On 26 September he scores a great triumph with Lucia di Lammermoor at Naples's Teatro S. Carlo.
1837 - His wife, Virginia, dies on 30 July in Naples. After a period of deep crisis, Donizetti stages Roberto Devereux at the Teatro S. Carlo (29 October).
1838 - The banning of Poliuto by Neapolitan censors and his failure to become Director of the Conservatoire lead Donizetti to leave Naples for good and move to Paris.
1840 - Donizetti's first original work in French La fille du Régiment (11 February), an opéra-comique , is widely acclaimed by the Parisian public. The grand-opera La Favorite is staged at the Opéra on 2 December and Donizetti's success continues to grow.
1842 - On 19 May Donizetti charms the Viennese public with Linda di Chamounix . In a few months he will be named “ Maestro di Cappella and Composer of the Imperial Court” by the Emperor of Austria, Ferdinand I. (3 July).
1843 - Don Pasquale at the Thé â tre-Italien on 3 January is enthusiastically received by the Parisian public. From February to November Donizetti commits himself to the creation and staging of his last large-scale work, Dom Sébastien , a grand-opera in 5 acts that is staged in Paris on 13 November.
1845 - Donizetti, whose health is in decline, turns down even the most prestigious commissions, which is a sign of his evident tiredness. In Paris he is struck by a serious illness, from which he will never recover.
1847 - After more than sixteen months of forced confinement at a nursing home for mental illness at Ivry, near Paris, the composer is allowed to return to Italy, despite being entirely dependent on others. He returns to Bergamo on 6 October, lovingly received in the palace of the Baroness Rosa Rota-Basoni.
1848 - Gaetano Donizetti dies on 8 April. On the 11 th the funeral is held: the body is buried in the former cemetery of Valtesse, a suburb of Bergamo.
In 1875, with great honour, the remains of Donizetti, together with those of Mayr, are transferred to the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore, where they remain today.
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