Skip to main content
Select Source:

Spontini, Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico)

Spontini, Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico) (b Majolati, Ancona, 1774; d Majolati, 1851). It. composer. Some church mus. earned him opera commission for Rome, 1796. 5 other operas followed. Went to Paris 1803, meeting with barely moderate success until the triumph of La Vestale in 1807. Became composer to Empress Joséphine 1805, and won favour with Napoléon. Became cond. of It. Opera in Paris 1810, improving standards and giving f. Paris p. of Mozart's Don Giovanni in its orig. form. Dismissed 1812, but reinstated 1814. Cond., Berlin Court Opera 1820. There, too, his tenure was stormy and controversial, partly because his quick temper and pompous manner made him hard to work with, and partly because he continued to promote his own Italianate works in the face of the new enthusiasm for Ger. romantic opera engendered by the success of Weber's Der Freischütz. When his royal patron died in 1840, Spontini was dismissed in 1841 and sentenced to 9 months imprisonment for lèse majesté, but the new king lifted the sentence. Thereafter he lived chiefly in Paris until returning to his native village, to whose poor he left all his property. Operas incl.: Li puntigli delle donne (1796), L'eroismo ridicolo (1798), Il finto pittore (1800), La fuga in maschera (1800), La finta filosofa (1799), Milton (1804), La Vestale (1807), Fernand Cortez (1809), Olympie (1819), Nurmahal (1822), Alcidor (1825), Agnes von Hohenstaufen (1829). Fest. pageant: Lalla Rookh (1821). Most of Spontini's operas were rev. several times. Some have been perf. in It. since 1945 and La Vestale was also revived at Wexford, 1979.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Spontini, Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico)." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Spontini, Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico)." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spontini-gaspare-luigi-pacifico

"Spontini, Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico)." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spontini-gaspare-luigi-pacifico

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Spontini, Gaspare

Gaspare Spontini (gäs´pärā spōntē´nē), 1774–1851, Italian opera composer. Spontini studied music in Naples. He went to Paris in 1803, won a prize from Napoleon for La Vestale (1807), and became court composer under Louis XVIII. In 1819 he was a leading musician at the court of Frederick William III of Prussia. Besides La Vestale, on which he worked for three years, Spontini had great successes with Fernand Cortez (1809), Olympie (1819, revised several times), and Nurmahal (1822). The pageantry and rich orchestration of his operas were greatly admired. In 1810, Spontini staged the first Paris performance of Don Giovanni in its original form.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Spontini, Gaspare." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Spontini, Gaspare." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spontini-gaspare

"Spontini, Gaspare." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spontini-gaspare

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Spontini, Gaspare

SPONTINI, GASPARE

Romanticist conductor and composer; b. Majolati (Ancona), Italy, Nov. 14, 1774; d. Majolati, Jan. 24, 1851. Although destined for the priesthood, the boy studied instead at the Turchini conservatory in Naples, in which city his first opera was produced in 1796. He was active successively in Rome, Palermo (as maestro to the Naples court in exile), Venice, and Paris, where he became compositeur particulier to Empress Josephine (1804). In Paris he produced his best opera, La Vestale (1807), and introduced mozart's Requiem, Don Giovanni (original version), and other compositions. In 1819 he became court composer to Friedrich Wilhelm III and music director in Berlin. The première of Carl M. von weber's Der Freischütz in 1821 threatened the reign of Italian opera, and Spontini's highhanded and dilatory ways were unpopular, but the King remained loyal until his death in 1840. His successor, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, proving less sympathetic, Spontini returned to Paris in 1841, and in 1850 retired to his birthplace. Spontini was an ambitious man whose career was a series of feuds, rivalries, and litigations; yet he was capable of great generosity. After Weber's death he conducted Der Freischütz as a benefit for the composer's widow and children, and he gave his retirement years and all his possessions to the needy. His operas and church works (mostly very early) were mounted in the grand "revolutionary style" of the time of Napoleon, with rich orchestration and majestic choruses.

Bibliography: c. bouvet, Spontini (Paris 1930). a. ghislan zoni, G. Spontini (Rome 1951). g. abraham, "The Best of Spontini," Music and Letters 23 (1942) 163171. r. eitner, Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten, 10 v. [Leipzig 190004; New York n.d. (1947)] 9:230233. t. barfoot, "La Vestale " in International Dictionary of Opera, ed. c. s. larue (Detroit 1993); "Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico) Spontini," ibid. k. h. cochran, The Genesis of Gaspare Spontini's "Agnes von Hohenstaufen": A Chapter in the History of German Opera (Ph.D. diss. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1995). p. fragapane, Spontini (Florence 1983). d. libby in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980). n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (New York 1992).

[w. c. holmes]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Spontini, Gaspare." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Spontini, Gaspare." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spontini-gaspare

"Spontini, Gaspare." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spontini-gaspare

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.