Donald Macleod introduces the life and music of the Italian composer whose comic operas were the toast of some of the greatest world leaders of the day.
Giovanni Paisiello was one of the most popular opera composers of his day, feted all over Europe, not least by the greatest world leaders of the day including Napoleon, Catherine the Great and Emperor Joseph II. And yet, other than a handful of operatic arias, he's virtually unknown today. Donald Macleod looks at the life and times of this prolific composer who produced nearly 100 operas and made a significant contribution to the development of opera.
Paisiello was an ambitious young man - although he was already making a name for himself around Italy, he was determined to win the hearts and minds of the Neapolitan court, one of the most flourishing centres of musical excellence in Europe at that time. In the first programme, Donald Macleod introduces excerpts from two of his comic operas - 'Don Chisciotte della Mancia', one of the first to find favour with the King of Naples, and 'La Frascatana', with which Paisiello launched his international career.