A native of Bergamo, Donizetti was, for nearly a decade after the early death of Bellini in 1835, the leading composer of Italian opera. He had his first success with Zoraida di Granata in 1822. There followed a series of nearly sixty more operas and removal to Paris, where Rossini had been induced to settle to his profit. His final illness confined him to a hospital in France for some 17 months, before his return to Bergamo, where he died in 1848. Donizetti was not exclusively a composer of opera, but wrote music of all kinds, songs, chamber music, piano music and a quantity of music for the church.

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