Italian composer. He contributed to the development of the opera with La favola d'Orfeo/The Legend of Orpheus
(1607) and L'incoronazione di Poppea/The Coronation of Poppea
(1642). He also wrote madrigals, motets, and sacred music, notably the Vespers
Born in Cremona, he was in the service of the Duke of Mantua about 15911612, and was director of music at St Mark's Cathedral, Venice, from 1613. He was the first to use an orchestra and to reveal the dramatic possibilities of the operatic form. His first opera Orfeo/Orpheus
(1607) was produced for the carnival at Mantua in 1607.
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