Giuseppe Maria Orlandini

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini (4 April 1676  24 October 1760) was an Italian baroque composer particularly known for his more than 40 operas and intermezzos. Highly regarded by music historians of his day like Francesco Saverio Quadrio, Jean-Benjamin de La Borde and Charles Burney, Orlandini, along with Vivaldi, is considered one of the major creators of the new style of opera that dominated the second decade of the 18th century.[1]

Born in Florence,[2] Orlandini began working as an opera composer in his late twenties for Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici. His first opera, Artaserse, premiered in Livorno in 1706. A moderate success, the work was revived in Naples in 1708. Beginning in 1711, he was the maestro di cappella to Prince Gian Gastone (later the Duke of Tuscany). In 1717 he moved to Bologna, where he met and married opera singer Maria Maddalena Buonavia. He continued to live and work in that city for the next fifteen years.

Orlandini's first major critical success was the opera Antigona which premiered in Venice during carnival of 1718. The work was highly popular and enjoyed performances throughout Europe. In 1719 he became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica. That same year his intermezzo Il marito giocatore (also performed under the title Serpilla e Bacocco in some later productions) premiered in Venice. The work became one of the most frequently performed musical dramas of the 18th century. Another successful intermezzo that was played in many opera houses in Europe was L'impresario delle Isole Canarie (Music lost).

The year 1721 saw two major successes for Orlandini. His opera Arsace, a revision of his 1715 Amore e maestà, premiered at the King’s Theatre in London to critical praise, and his opera Nerone premiered to great success for the carnival season in Venice. Both works became known throughout Europe.

Orlandini left Bologna to return to Florence in 1732, to become the maestro di cappella for the Medici court and the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. While serving in these positions, he continued to remain productive as an opera composer, regularly providing works for the La Pergola and Il Cocomero theatres in Florence. His last stage work was the commedia per musica Lo scialacquatore, which premiered on 14 September 1744 at the Il Cocomero. He died in Florence.


  1. Richard Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music: 5-vol. set: 5-vol. set 2009 "... the domineering wife”) by Giuseppe Maria Orlandini (1676–1760), a Florentine composer active in Bologna who was even older than Bach the Father, and who actually spent most of his life composing opera seria to lofty “Arcadian” libretti."
  2. Note- It was previously thought that he was born earlier on 19 March 1675 but current research has proven he was born on 4 April 1676. It is most likely that the earlier date is referring to an older brother who had died before Orlandini was born.
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