Fioravanti, Valentino


Italian dramatic composer, born in Rome, who became a composer of many popular light operas. His teachers were Jannaconi at Rome and Sala, Fenaroli, Tritta and Monopoli at Naples. Fioravanti resided most of his life at Florence, but began his career at Turin, setting many operas for the Italian theatres from 1787 to 1810. His first opera, I Viaggiatori Ridicoli, was produced at Rome in 1785. Fioravanti then went to Lisbon, where he conducted the opera and wrote ten operas during the five years he remained in that city. In 1807 he went to Paris, where he wrote and produced I Virtuosi Ambulanti, an opera which was highly esteemed by musicians and which became popular. La Cantatrice Villane, and Camilla were also well received and the former was extremely popular and well-liked in Germany as well as in Italy, and by some is considered the composer's best work. All of his operatic pieces are remarkable for their native wit, vivacity and spirit, but like other composers in the same field, the genius of Fioravanti was obscured by that of Rossini and the so-called "florid" or showy school of operatic writing. Fioravanti succeeded his former teacher, Jannaconi, as choirmaster at St. Peter's and devoted himself almost entirely to church music. His compositions include, beside the operas mentioned, a Stabat Mater and a Miserere, which are the best of his sacred compositions; songs and other works. It was in comic opera that he excelled, although his church music has more than ordinary merit. He wrote in all about fifty operas.