Donald Macleod discovers how Paisiello and his comic operas were received after the composer was appointed music director at the court of Catherine the Great.
When Catherine the Great invited Paisiello to become musical director of her court in St Petersburg he must have jumped at the chance. It was his first official appointment and with it came both security and prestige. Paisiello quickly became a favourite of the court, thanks to the steady stream of comic operas he produced there. Donald Macleod introduces two of them: 'I filosofi immaginari' - a great favourite of Catherine's, and 'La serva padrona', which recycled the libretto famously set by Pergolesi 50 years earlier.