Gaetano Donizetti

Fun Facts

  • Donizetti taught at the Naples Conservatory, surrounding himself with pupils who remembered his warmth and generosity for the rest of their lives.

  • The opera, Anna Bolena, was Donizetti's first international success.

  • A prolific composer, Donizetti composed 70 operas in less than 30 years.

  • Donizetti's wife, Virginia, and all three of their children preceded him in death.  He never completely recovered from his grief.

  • Although known primarily for his operas, Donizetti produced a large number of compositions in other genres. In addition to 71 operas, he composed cantatas, sacred works, symphonies, string quartets, string quintets, and numerous works for solo piano, piano and voice, and other instruments.

  • Illness, paralysis and dementia struck Donizetti in his final years.

  • Donizetti was born in a cellar apartment to poor, working-class parents.

  • At the age of nine, Donizetti was accepted into a school for musical training, where his musical talents were discovered by the school's founder, Simone Mayr.

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