Leonardo Leo
Leonardo Leo more correctly Lionardo Oronzo Salvatore de Leo, was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...



Leo was born in San Vito degli Schiavoni (current San Vito dei Normanni
San Vito dei Normanni
San Vito dei Normanni is an Italian town of 19,947 inhabitants of the province of Brindisi in Puglia. The inhabitants are called Sanvitesi and the town is sometimes referred to as San Vito....

, province of Brindisi
Province of Brindisi
The Province of Brindisi is a province in the Apulia region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Brindisi. Surrounded by vineyards and artichoke fields, Brindisi is a major sailing port for the southern part of Italy....

), then part of the Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...


He became a student at the Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini at Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 in 1703, and was a pupil first of Francesco Provenzale
Francesco Provenzale
Francesco Provenzale was an Italian Baroque composer and teacher.Before the year 1658, there is virtually no record of Provenzale's existence, although it's thought that he studied at the Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini in Naples. The year of his entry into history is 1654, the year his...

 and later of Nicola Fago
Nicola Fago
Nicola Fago was an Italian Baroque composer and teacher.-Biography:Born in Taranto, he studied music at the Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini in Naples between 1693 and 1695. Between 1704 and 1708 he worked at the Conservatorio Sant´Onofrio...

. It has been supposed that he was a pupil of Pitoni
Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni
Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni was an organist and composer born in Rieti, Perugia, Italy. He became one of the leading musicians in Rome during the late Baroque era, the first half of the 18th century.-Life:...

 and Alessandro Scarlatti
Alessandro Scarlatti
Alessandro Scarlatti was an Italian Baroque composer especially famous for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera. He was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti.-Life:Scarlatti was born in...

, but he could not possibly have studied with either of these composers, although he was undoubtedly influenced by their compositions. His earliest known work was a sacred drama, L'infedelta abbattuta, performed by his fellow-students in 1712.

In 1714 he produced, at the court theatre, an opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, Pisistrato, which was much admired. He held various posts at the royal chapel, and continued to write for the stage, besides teaching at the conservatory. After adding comic scenes to Francesco Gasparini
Francesco Gasparini
Francesco Gasparini was an Italian Baroque composer and teacher whose works were performed throughout Italy, and also on occasion in Germany and England....

's Bajazette in 1722 for performance at Naples, he composed comic operas in Neapolitan
Neapolitan language
Neapolitan is the language of the city and region of Naples , and Campania. On October 14, 2008 a law by the Region of Campania stated that the Neapolitan language had to be protected....

 such as La’mpeca scoperta in 1723, and L'Alidoro in 1740.

His most famous comic opera was Amor vuol sofferenze (1739), better known as La Finta Frascatana, highly praised by De Brosses. He was equally distinguished as a composer of serious opera, Demofoonte (1735), Farnace (1737) and L'Olimpiade
L'Olimpiade is an opera libretto in three acts by Metastasio originally written for Antonio Caldara's 1733 opera. Following Caldara's success, more than 60 baroque and classical composers used the libretto for their own renditions. Metastasio’s plot, draws upon the narrative of '"The Trial of the...

(1737) being his most famous works in this branch, and is still better known as a composer of sacred music. He died of a stroke
Apoplexy is a medical term, which can be used to describe 'bleeding' in a stroke . Without further specification, it is rather outdated in use. Today it is used only for specific conditions, such as pituitary apoplexy and ovarian apoplexy. In common speech, it is used non-medically to mean a state...

 while engaged in the composition of new arias for a revival of La Finta Frascatana.

Leo was the first of the Neapolitan school
Neapolitan School
In music history, the Neapolitan School is a group, associated with opera, of 18th century composers who studied or worked in Naples, Italy. The best known of which is Alessandro Scarlatti, with whom, "modern opera begins"....

 to obtain a complete mastery over modern harmonic
A harmonic of a wave is a component frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency, i.e. if the fundamental frequency is f, the harmonics have frequencies 2f, 3f, 4f, . . . etc. The harmonics have the property that they are all periodic at the fundamental...

In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

. His sacred music is masterly and dignified, logical rather than passionate, and free from the sentimentality which is present in the work of Francesco Durante
Francesco Durante
Francesco Durante was an Italian composer.He was born at Frattamaggiore, in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, and at an early age he entered the Conservatorio dei poveri di Gesù Cristo, in Naples, where he received lessons from Gaetano Greco. Later he became a pupil of Alessandro Scarlatti at the...

 and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was an Italian composer, violinist and organist.-Biography:Born at Iesi, Pergolesi studied music there under a local musician, Francesco Santini, before going to Naples in 1725, where he studied under Gaetano Greco and Francesco Feo among others...

. His serious operas suffer from a coldness and severity of style, but in his comic operas he shows a keen sense of humour. His ensemble movements are spirited, but never worked up to a strong climax.

A fine and characteristic example of his sacred music is the Dixit Dominus in C, edited by CV Stanford
Charles Villiers Stanford
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer who was particularly notable for his choral music. He was professor at the Royal College of Music and University of Cambridge.- Life :...

 and published by Novello
-Places:England* Novello Theatre, a theatre in the City of Westminster, LondonItaly* Novello, Piedmont, a comune in the Province of Cuneo-People:* Agostino Novello, an Italian religious figure* Antonia Novello, a Puerto Rican physician...

. A number of songs from operas are accessible in modern editions.

Drammi per musica

  1. Sofonisba (Naples
    Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

    , Teatro San Bartolomeo, 1719)
  2. Cajo Gracco (Teatro San Bartolomeo, 1720)
  3. Bajazette (1722)
  4. Tamerlano (Rome, 1722)
  5. Timocrate (Venice, 1723)
  6. Zenobia in Palmira (Naples, Teatro San Bartolomeo, 1725)
  7. Astianatte (1725)
  8. La somiglianza (Naples, Teatro dei Fiorentini, 1726)
  9. L'Orismene, overo dagli sdegni gli amori (Naples, Teatro Nuovo, 1726)
  10. Ciro riconosciuto (1727)
  11. Argene (1728)
  12. La zingara (intermezzo, 1731)
  13. Intermezzi per l'Argene (1731)
  14. Catone (Venice, 1732)
  15. Amore dà senno (Naples, Teatro Nuovo, 1733)
  16. Emira (with intermezzi by Ignazio Prota
    Ignazio Prota
    Ignazio Prota was an Italian composer and music educator. He was the father of composer Tommaso Prota and the grandfather of composer Gabriele Prota....

    , 1735)
  17. La clemenza di Tito (1735)
  18. Onore vince amore (Naples, Teatro dei Fiorentini, 1736)
  19. La simpatia del sangue (1737)
  20. Siface (1737)
  21. Festa teatrale (1739)
  22. La contesa dell'Amore e della virtù (1740)
  23. Alessandro (1741)
  24. Demoofonte (1741)
  25. Andromaca (1742)
  26. Vologeso (1744)
  27. La finta Frascatana (1744)

Undated operas:
  1. Amor vuol sofferenza (opera seria)
  2. Artaserse
  3. Lucio Papirio
  4. Arianna e Teseo (cantata teatrale)
  5. L'Olimpiade
  6. Evergete
  7. Il matrimonio anascoso
  8. Alidoro
  9. Alessandro nell'Indie
  10. Il Medo
  11. Nitocri, regina di egitto
  12. Il Pisistrate
  13. Il trionfo di Camillo
  14. Le nozze di Psiche
  15. Achille in Sciro


L'Alidoro (opera)
  • 2008 - Teatro Municipale R.Valli, Reggio Emilia - Antonio Florio (conductor), Orchestra Barocca Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
    Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
    The Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini is an early music ensemble based in Naples and dedicated to the recovery of Neapolitan musical heritage, primarily from the baroque era....

     - Arturo Cirillo (Stage director)
    Cast: Francesca Russo Ermolli, Maria Grazia Schiavo, Valentina Varriale, Maria Ercolano, Giuseppe De Vittorio World premiere video recording on DVD, Dynamic
    Dynamic (record label)
    Dynamic is an Italian independent record label located in Genoa. Founded in 1978, it specialises in classical music and opera, especially rarely performed works and has produced several world premiere recordings...


External links

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