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Antonio Sacchini


1730 - 1786


Date of birth:
Date of death:

Born in Florence, Sacchini studied in Naples with Francesco Durante. After writing several comic operas, he made his debut at the Teatro San Carlo with Andromaca (1761), his first opera seria. However, it was the triumphant success of Olimpiade, premiered in Padua in 1763, which made him famous throughout Italy. Until the early 1770s, he composed for various opera houses, making a name for himself as a composer of both serious and comic operas. In 1768, he moved to Venice to become director of the Conservatoire dell’Ospedaletto, where he taught singing (he trained soprano Nancy Storace, who went on to create the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro). His reputation spread outside Italy since, in 1770, he was invited to Munich (Scipione in Cartagena, L’eroe cinese) and Ludwigsburg (Calliroe). 1772 marked the start of his London decade, during which he composed ten operas, mainly seria, for the King’s Theatre. The first, Il Cid, was an adaptation of the play by Corneille, which had already inspired Sacchini to write Il Cidde in 1769 and to which he was to return a third time in 1783. After Mitridate (1781), under threat of imprisonment for debt and criticised for his loose morals, he moved to Paris. He wrote three lyric tragedies for the Académie Royale de Musique: Renaud (1783), Chimène (1783) and Dardanus (1784). However, he became embroiled in sordid intrigues which led to a falling out with Piccinni and had an adverse effect on his career, despite the support of Marie-Antoinette. Œdipe à Colone, premiered in January 1786, enjoyed little success until its posthumous revival a year later. Sacchini’s last opera, Arvire et Évelina was left incomplete, and finished by Jean-Baptiste Rey.


Arvire et Évélina

Nicolas-François GUILLARD / Antonio SACCHINI


Chimène ou Le Cid

Nicolas-François GUILLARD / Antonio SACCHINI


La Colonie

Nicolas-Étienne FRAMERY / Antonio SACCHINI



Nicolas-François GUILLARD / Antonio SACCHINI


See the 7 œuvres en lien