Niccolò [Nicolò] Jommelli

(1714 - 1774)


Italian composer. From 1725 to 1728 he studied at the Conservatorio S. Onofrio in Naples, with Ignazio Prota and Francesco Feo; then he took further instruction at the Conservatorio Pietà dei Turchini, under Fago, Basso, and Sarcom. He composed his first opera, L'errore amoroso, for Naples in 1737; it was followed by other successes, most notably Ricimero rè dei Goti (Rome, 1740). In 1741 he moved to Bologna to oversee the production of his Ezio; there he met Padre Martini, with whom he probably studied counterpoint, and was elected to membership in the Accademia filarmonica in Bologna. JomelliIn Venice he served for three years (1743 -46) as director of the Ospedale degli incurabili. He moved to Rome in 1747, and two years later he was appointed maestro coadiutore of the papal chapel; during this period he continued to compose operas, in addition to the sacred music required of him at the chapel. He spent 1749-50 in Vienna, where he helped to mount performances of two of his opere serie, Achille in Sciro and Didone abbandonata. In 1754 he was called to Stuttgart, where he remained as court opera composer until 1768; he composed some of his finest operas for the court's Ludwigsburg Palace (Tetonte, 1768), and also contributed operas for the court theater of José I of Portugal. In 1769 he negotiated a contract with José that allowed him to compose operas for Lisbon without having to travel there; in the same year he returned to Italy. His final years were occupied chiefly with the composition of operas and sacred music for Lisbon and Naples. Overworked and plagued by gout, he suffered a stroke in 1771; continuing to work in spite of paralysis, he completed his final opera seria, Il trionfo di Clelia, months before his death. In all some 220 theater works are known, including more than sixty opere serie;titles not mentioned include Demetrio (Parma, 1749); Ciro riconosciuto (Venice, 1749); Attilio Regolo (Rome, 1753); L'Olimpiade (Stuttgart, 1761); Demofoonte (Stuttgart, 1764); and Temistocle (Ludwigsburg, 1765). He also composed comic operas (La critica, Ludwigsburg, 1766; La schiava liberata,Ludwigsburg, 1768); serenatas and pasticcios; oratorios, cantatas, and hundreds of other sacred works (including some twenty Masses); chamber works and concertos.

A Partial Noccolò Jommelli Discography  |  VIIIB: The Neapolitan Group  | The Research Periods