Donald Macleod discusses the devastating physical and mental collapse Donizetti suffered shortly after the premiere of his grand opera Dom Sebastien, roi de Portugal.
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.
By the 1840s Donizetti enjoyed success in Paris, and had been appointed Hofkapellmeister to the Austrian Emperor. He was the most performed opera composer in Italy, and Don Pasquale and Linda di Chamounix received ecstatic receptions. However tragegy was to strike: shortly after the premiere of his grand opera Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal, Donizetti suffered a devastating physical and mental collapse.
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