Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (Italian: [doˈmeːniko ɡaeˈtaːno maˈria donidˈdzetti]; 29 November 1797 – 8 April 1848) was an Italian composer from Bergamo in Lombardy. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first fifty years of the Nineteenth Century.

Although Donizetti did not come from a musical background, at an early age he was taken under the wing of composer Simon Mayr who had enrolled him by means of a full scholarship in a school which he had set up. There he received detailed training in the arts of fugue and counterpoint. Mayr was also instrumental in obtaining a place for the young man at the Bologna Academy, where, at the age of 19, he wrote his first one-act opera, the comedy Il Pigmalione, although it does not appear to have been performed during his lifetime.

Over the course of his career, Donizetti wrote almost 70 operas, but an offer in 1822 from Domenico Barbaja, the impresario of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, which followed the composer's ninth opera, led to his move to that city and his residency which lasted until the production of Caterina Cornaro in January 1844. In all, Naples presented 51 of Donizetti's operas.

Before 1830, success came primarily with his comic operas, the serious ones failing to attract significant audiences. However, his first real success came with an opera seria, Zoraida di Granata, which was presented in 1822 in Rome. In 1830, when Anna Bolena was premiered, Donizetti made a major impact on the Italian and international opera scene and this shifted the balance of success away from primarily comedic operas, although even after that date, his best-known works also included comedies such as L'elisir d'amore (1832) and Don Pasquale (1843). Significant historical dramas did appear and became successful; they included Lucia di Lammermoor (the first to have a libretto written by Salvadore Cammarano) given in Naples in 1835, in addition to one of the most successful Neapolitan operas, Roberto Devereux in 1837. Up to that point, all of his operas had been set to Italian libretti.

Donizetti found himself increasingly chafing against the censorial limitations which existed in Italy (and especially in Naples). From about 1836, he became interested in working in Paris, where he saw much greater freedom to choose subject matter, in addition to receiving larger fees and greater prestige. From 1838 onward, with an offer from the Paris Opéra for two new works, he spent a considerable period of the following ten years in that city, and set several operas to French texts as well as overseeing stages of his Italian works. The first opera was a French version of the then-unperformed Poliuto which, in April 1840, was revised to become Les martyrs. Two new operas were also given in Paris at that time.

As the 1840s progressed, Donizetti moved regularly between Naples, Rome, Paris, and Vienna continuing to compose and stage his own operas as well as those of other composers. But from around 1843, severe illness began to take hold and to limit his activities. Eventually, by early 1846 he was obliged to be confined to an institution for the mentally ill and, by late 1847, friends had him moved back to Bergamo, where he died in April 1848.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1977 Lucia di Lammermoor (Ambrosian Opera Chorus, New Philharmonia Orchestra feat. conductor: Jesús López-Cobos) Gaetano Donizetti 2
1985 Lucia di Lammermoor (Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden feat. conductor Richard Bonynge) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1985 L'Elisir d'Amore (Ambrosian Opera Chorus & English Chamber Orchestra feat. conductor: Richard Bonynge) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1986 La fille du régiment (Orchestra and Chorus of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden feat. conductor: Richard Bonynge) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1988 Anna Bolena (Orchestra and Chorus of the Welsh National Opera feat. conductor: Richard Bonynge) Gaetano Donizetti 2
1989 Lucia di Lammermoor (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, feat. conductor: Tullio Serafin, singers: Callas, Di Stefano, Gobbi) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1989 Lucrezia Borgia Gaetano Donizetti; Joan Sutherland, Giacomo Aragall, Marilyn Horne, Ingvar Wixell, Richard Bonynge 1
1989 Lucrezia Borgia Gaetano Donizetti; Montserrat Caballé, Shirley Verrett, Alfredo Kraus, Ezio Flagello, Jonel Perlea 1
1990 L'elisir d'amore Gaetano Donizetti; Kathleen Battle, Luciano Pavarotti, Leo Nucci, Enzo Dara, Dawn Upshaw, Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra , James Levine 5 1
1990 Maria Stuarda Donizetti; Sutherland. Tourangeau, Pavarotti; Orchestra e coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Richard Bonynge 1
1992 Don Pasquale (Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, feat. conductor: Bruno Rigacci, singers: Corena, Alberti, Alva, Scotto) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1993 Anna Bolena (L'Orchestra et Coro del Teatro alla Scala feat. conductor: Gianandrea Gavazzeni) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1993 Linda di Chamounix (Mikaeli Chamber Choir & Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Friedrich Haider) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1994 Lucia di Lammermoor Gaetano Donizetti 1
1995 String Sonatas 1-6 Rossini, Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, Luigi Cherubini; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner 1
1995 Recital Gaetano Donizetti, Charles-François Gounod, Jacques Offenbach; Marilyn Horne, Lawrence Foster, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo 1
1996 Lucia di Lammermoor (Rumanian Opera Bucharest,feat. conductor: Constantin Petrovici, singers: Voinea, Herlea, Georgescu, Nastase) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1997 Anna Bolena (1968 studio cast) Gaetano Donizetti; Elena Souliotis, Marilyn Horne, John Alexander, Nicolaï Ghiaurov, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Opernorchester, Silvio Varviso 1
1997 Lucia di Lammermoor (Orchestra e Coro di Roma della Rai, feat. conductor: Tullio Serafin, singers: Callas, Panerai, Fernandi) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1997 Lucia di Lammermoor (Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Torina della Rai, feat. conductor: Francesco Molinari Pradelli, singers: Cappuccilli, Scotto, Pavarotti) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1997 Poliuto (Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala, feat. conductor: Antonino Votto, singers: Callas, Corelli, Bastianini, Zaccaria) Gaetano Donizetti 1
1999 Rossini: String Sonatas nos. 1, 2 and 3 / Donizetti: Allegro for Strings in C major Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti; Rossini Ensemble, Budapest 2
2000 La Favorite (Münchner Rundfunkorchester feat. conductor: Marcello Viotti) Gaetano Donizetti 1
2001 Renée Fleming sings Rosmonda d'Inghilterra Gaetano Donizetti 1
2001 Lucia di Lammermoor (Orchestra e coro dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia feat. conductor: John Pritchard) Gaetano Donizetti 1
2001 Caterina Cornaro Gaetano Donizetti; Orchestra & Chorus of Covent Garden, Carlo Felice Cillario 1
2001 Don Pasquale (Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Torino della RAI feat. conductor: Mario Rossi) Gaetano Donizetti 1
2001 Maria Stuarda Gaetano Donizetti composer, London Philharmonic Orchestra, The John Alldis Choir & Aldo Ceccato 1
2002 Lucia di Lammermoor Selezione Gaetano Donizetti 1
2002 Lucia Di Lammermoor (London Symphony Orchestra, feat. Conductor Thomas Schippers) Gaetano Donizetti 1
2002 Lucia of Lammermoor (Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Philharmonia Orchestra feat. conductor: David Parry) Gaetano Donizetti 1
2002 Lucie de Lammermoor Gaetano Donizetti; Orchestre National de Lyon, Evelino Pidò, Natalie Dessay 1
2003 Maria Stuarda (Fondazione Orchestra Stabile di Bergamo feat. conductor: Fabrizio Maria Carminati) Gaetano Donizetti 1
2004 Double Concerto / Flute Concertino / Clarinet Concertino Gaetano Donizetti; Imre Kovács, Béla Kovács, András Kiss, Judit Kis Domonkos, Camerata Budapest, László Kovács 1
2004 Lucia di Lammermoor (Maria Callas, Coro e Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tullio Serafin) Gaetano Donizetti 1
2005 Un Italien à Paris - duos & mélodies (Les Demoiselles de...) Gaetano Donizetti 1
L'elisir d'amore Gaetano Donizetti, Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino & Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 1
L'elisir d'amore, Act I Gaetano Donizetti 1
L'elisir d'amore, Act II Gaetano Donizetti 1
Lucia di Lammermoor Gaetano Donizetti 1
Lucia di Lammermoor (Callas, Tagliavini, Cappuccilli, Ladysz, Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, Tullio Serafin) 1960 Gaetano Donizetti 1
Lucia di Lammermoor (Complete) Gaetano Donizetti 1
Lucia di Lammermoor (feat. conductor: Tullio Serafin, soprano: Maria Callas, tenor: Giuseppe Di Stefano, baritone: Tito Gobbi) Gaetano Donizetti 1
Lucia di Lammermoor (Luciano Pavarotti) Gaetano Donizetti 1
Lucia di Lammermoor (Orchestra e coro del Teatro alla Scala, feat. conducter Herbert Van Karajan, Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano) Gaetano Donizetti 1
Lucia di Lammermoor (Sutherland, Pavarotti, Milnes, Bonynge) Gaetano Donizetti 1
Messa Di Requiem Gaetano Donizetti 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1996 Die Klassiksammlung 104: Donizetti: Opernmelodien Gaetano Donizetti 1
2007 Los clásicos de la Ópera, No. 17: Lucia di Lammermoor (Orquesta de la RAI de Turín feat. conductor: Francesco Molinari-Pradelli) Gaetano Donizetti 1
2007 Los clásicos de la Ópera, No. 37: L'elisir d'amore (Coro y Orquesta del Teatro de la Ópera de Roma feat. conductor: Gabriele Santini) Gaetano Donizetti 1

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