Born 20 August 1561 in Rome, Italy, Jacopo Peri was an Italian composer and often called the inventor of opera (making him both loved and hated by many!).
Jacopo was born in Rome but went on to study in Florence, Italy with Chistofano Malvezzi. He worked in churches there as an organist and a singer. From there he worked his way into the Medici court. There he began as a keyboard player and tenor singer then later as a composer. His earliest works were for madrigals and plays.
The leading patron of music in Florence was a man by the name of Jacopo Corsi. Jacopo Peri became acquainted with him in the 1590s. Together they attempted to recreate Greek tragedy as they felt that the art of their day was inferior to that of the Greeks and Romans. They had the poet Ottavio Rinuccini write a text for it and then there it was, Dafne, the first work in this new form, opera.
Next, Rinuccini and Jacopo Peri worked together on Euridice, an opera first performed on October 6, 1600. This opera survived to present-day whilst Dafne did not.
Jacopo went on to write numerous operas as well as other pieces for the court. Though little of his work is performed today, his influence on later composers is undeniable.
Jacopo died 12 August 1633 in Florence, Italy.
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On 20 Aug 2014 at 14:14 GMT Eowyn Langholf wrote: