Martin y Solar, Vicente



Spanish writer of operas, who for a time rivaled Mozart in popular favor; born at Valencia. He sang in the choir of Valencia and later became organist at Alicante. In 1871 he went to Florence, where he wrote the opera, Ifigenia in Aulide, to be performed at the following carnival. His next works were Astartea and the ballet, La Regina di Golconda. In 1783 he produced La Donna festiggiata and L'accorta cameriera at Turin, and in 1784 he brought out Ipermestra in Rome. In 1785 he went to Vienna, where he met Da Ponte who wrote the libretto to his II burbero di buon cuore, which was so successful that he published La capricciosa coretta, L'arbore di Diana and Une Cosa Rara very soon afterward. Of these Une Cosa Rara became immensely popular, quite overshadowing Mozart's Figaro which came out about that time. In 1788 Martin went to St. Petersburg, where he became director of Italian Opera and was made an Imperial councillor by Emperor Paul I. When French Opera was substituted for Italian in 1801 Martin was deprived of his position and forced to fall back upon teaching for a living. He died at St. Petersburg in 1810. Besides his operas mentioned he wrote the operas Gli sposi in contrasto and Ille de 1'amour and the cantata, II Sogno; a mass; Domine salvum fac; some canons and twelve Italian ariettas.