Paradies [Paradisi], (Pietro) Domenico
- Donald C. Sanders
(b Naples, ca. 1707; d Venice, Aug 25, 1791). Italian composer, harpsichordist, and teacher. He is believed to have studied with Nicola Porpora in Naples, but little is known about his early life. The first documented performance of his music was of the opera Alessandro in Persia (Lucca, 1738), on a libretto of the Florentine Francesco Vanneschi. The poor reception of this work marked the beginning of a generally unsuccessful career as a composer for the stage. During the 1739–40 season Paradies moved to Venice, where he was employed by the Conservatorio dei Mendicanti, one of the city’s four famous schools for orphaned girls. There his reputation as an opera composer suffered further when his serenata of 1740, Il decreto del fato, proved unpopular. During this period, however, he was exposed to the vibrant Venetian musical life of the era and the progressive keyboard music of composers such as his contemporary Baldassare Galuppi....