Gagliano, Marco da

About 1575-1642

One of the earliest composers of opera; was born in the village of Gagliano, near Florence, and from it took the surname, by which he is known, though that of his father was Zanobi. He studied under Luca Bati, the chapelmaster of St. Lorenzo, where he was preparing for the priesthood, and succeeded to this position on Bati's death, in 1608, having assumed part of his work in 1602. Several years later he became chapelmaster to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. At that time he was already an active promoter of music in Florence, having started in 1607 the Accademia degli Elevati, a musical association, which continued for twelve or thirteen years. The opera, Dafne, produced at Mantua the same year, is considered his most important work, and was highly praised and applauded. His other works include masses and madrigals in various collections. Responsori della Settimana Santa was considered the best of his compositions, of which comparatively few are extant, some having been lost, and 3. number never published, owing, it is said, to his strict and conscientious criticism.