Gasparo L. P. Spontini


Spontini is pronounced (Spon-tee-ne)

Gasparo Luigi Pacifico Spontini was born at Majolati, Ancona, November 14, 1774, and died there January 24, 1851.

He studied at the Conservatory, Naples, under Sala and Tritto.

His success as a composer also won him valuable assistance from Piccini.

He won distinction in Naples, Venice, Rome and elsewhere as an opera composer, and then proceeded to Paris. Here he found that the facile Neapolitan style of opera was regarded with some contempt, and he made Mozart and Gluck his models.

This resulted in the production of La Vestale, in 1807, and he became a great favorite.

Napoleon and the Express Josephine encouraged him in his work.

Ferdinand Cortez proved almost as successful as La Vestale.

He became director of Italian Opera, 1810-12, but was dismissed for “financial irregularities.”

The post was restored to him by Louis XVIII, be he sold it to Catalani.

His last year in Paris (1819) witnessed the production of Olympie, a work which failed at first, but after much revision became a great favorite.

From 1820 to 1841 he was in Berlin as court composer to Frederick II.

Gasparo L. P. Spontini became a brilliant figure at the German court, but created far more enemies than friends.

After the death of the Emperor he was superseded, narrowly escaping imprisonment and disgrace. In recognition of his past services, however, he was pardoned and well pensioned.