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  • Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer from Bergamo in Lombardy. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first fifty years of the Nineteenth Century. Although Donizetti did not come from a musical background, at an early age he was taken under the wing of composer Simon Mayr who had enrolled him by means of a full scholarship in a school which he had set up. There he received detailed training in the arts of fugue and counterpoint. Mayr was also instrumental in obtaining a place for the young man at the Bologna Academy, where, at the age of 19, he wrote his first one-act opera, the comedy Il Pigmalione, although it does not appear to have been performed during his lifetime. Over the course of his career, Donizetti wrote almost 70 operas, but an offer in 1822 from Domenico Barbaja, the impresario of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, which followed the composer's ninth opera, led to his move to that city and his residency which lasted until the production of Caterina Cornaro in January 1844. In all, Naples presented 51 of Donizetti's operas.

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  • His operas marked the transition in operatic development between Rossini and Verdi.
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