Donald Macleod charts Donizetti's early life, including his composing as a teenager an early version of Pygmalion.
Gaetano Donizetti composed almost 70 operas in 19th-century Italy, the age of the impresario, the prima donna and the star tenor. Donald Macleod traces his extraordinary life.
Donizetti was raised in a cramped basement flat, the son of a poor family in rural Italy, but his talent was spotted early. He would later become the most successful Italian composer of his generation. As a teenager Donizetti wrote a precocious early version of Pygmalion, and dedicated a piano piece to a generous benefactor who bought him out of his military service. His breakthrough came with an opera set in Moorish Spain, Zoraida di Granata.
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