FRANCESCO CAVALLI (1602 - 1676)
The Italian composer Cavalli was possibly the most important composer of Italian opera in the third quarter of the 17th century. Recent revivals of his work in the theatre have served to bring his name before a more general public. He became a choirboy at St Mark’s in Venice in 1616 and enjoyed a subsequent close working relationship with Monteverdi, maestro di musica of the basilica. He wrote music for the theatre and the church.
Cavalli wrote over 40 operas, including a series of works chiefly relying on ancient Greek or Roman legend or history, some of which have enjoyed successful modern revival. Among them are a version of the legend of Medea, Giasone, and the operas Egisto and Serse.