Generali, Pietro

1783-1842

Italian composer of light opera; was born at Masserano, Piedmont. His real name was Mercandetti. He studied under Giovanni Massi at Rome, and there produced his first opera, Gli Amanti Ridicoli, in 1800. A large number of others followed, produced in Milan, Venice and other Italian cities, I Baccanali di Roma, Venice, 1815, being considered his best. After this time his popularity was overshadowed by that of Rossini. From 1817 to 1820 he was conductor of the Barcelona Theatre, but resigned this post and retired to that of chapelmaster at Novara Cathedral, where he made a study of Rossini's compositions, and strove to regain his lost prestige, but in vain. After his last unsuccessful appearance in Venice, 1829, he gave his time and energy to sacred music, writing an oratorio, masses, and psalms, and dying at Novara three years later. It is said that he was Rossini's model in certain innovations in composition, and that the latter, with greater ability, made use of these in his own works.