Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (January 4, 1710 ? March 16, 1736) was an Italian composer, violinist and organist. Pergolesi was born in Jesi, where he studied music under Francesco Santini there before going to Naples in 1725 where he studied under Gaetano Greco among others. He spent most of his brief life working in Neapolitan courts.
Pergolesi was one of the most important early composers of opera buffa (comic opera). His opera seria Il prigioner superbo contained the two act buffa intermezzo, La Serva Padrona (The Servant Mistress, 1733), which became a very popular work in its own right. When it was given in Paris in 1752, it prompted the so-called Querelle des Bouffons (quarrel of the comedians) between supporters of serious French opera by the likes of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau and supporters of new Italian comic opera. Pergolesi was held up as a model of the Italian style during this quarrel, which divided Paris's musical community for two years.
Among Pergolesi's other operatic works are his first opera La conversione e morte di San Guglielmo (1731), Lo frate 'nnammorato (The friar in love, 1732), L'Olimpiade (1735) and Il Flaminio (1735). All his operas were premiered in Naples apart from L'Olimpiade which was first given in Rome.
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