Zingarelli, Nicola Antonio



Composer; born in Naples, April, 1752. At the Loretp Conservatory of Naples he began his study of music and later studied under Speranza. His first composition, an opera, was given at the Conservatory when he was but sixteen years old, and a second, Montezuma, was produced three years later. After leaving the Conservatory he entered the service of a private family as a teacher of music, but his opera Alsinda, which appeared in Milan in 1785, met with such success as to warrant his giving his time entirely to composition. He received many commissions, and in 1811 had produced twenty-seven more operas. He was at that time holding the office of cathedral-master of St. Peter's at Rome, an honor conferred after he had acceptably filled a like position at Milan, and produced a great number of sacred works. He refused, in 1811, to conduct a Te Deum to celebrate the birth of the King of Rome, Napoleon's son, was arrested and taken to Paris. Napoleon freed him, paid him for his journey, commissioned him to write a mass for the Imperial Chapel and allowed him to return to Italy. As Fioravanti had been appointed to fill the position he had held at St. Peter's, he went to Naples where, in 1813, he became director of the Royal College of Music and later succeeded Paisiello at the Cathedral. While he was very conservative as a teacher and failed to keep pace with more ambitious musicians, he had excellent success and numbered among his pupils Bellini, Morlacchi, Carlo Conti and Lauro Rossi. His operas were very popular and were interpreted by the best Italian opera singers of his time. He was a prolific composer and aside from the many operas he wrote a great number of masses, and smaller sacred pieces, several oratorios, organ sonatas, and a string quartet. Zingarelli died at Torre del Greco, May 5, 1837.