Scarlatti, (Pietro) Alessandro (Gaspare)
- Malcolm Boyd,
- Roberto Pagano
- and Edwin Hanley
Member of Scarlatti family
(b Palermo, May 2, 1660; d Naples, Oct 22, 1725). Composer, generally considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of 18th-century opera.
He was the second son of the tenor Pietro Scarlata (the form ‘Scarlatti’ was used from 1672 onwards) and Eleonora d’Amato, who were both involved in Palermo musical life. It was there that Alessandro began the studies that later facilitated his entry into musical life in Rome. In 1670 the death of Vincenzo Amato, a relation of Eleonora and maestro di cappella of the cathedral, deprived the family of a powerful supporter, and two years later an appalling famine made them decide to leave, first for Rome and then for Naples. Pietro may already have died when, in June 1672, his wife and some of their children moved to Rome; the rapid completion of Alessandro’s studies may be attributed to the protection of the famous castrato Marcantonio Sportonio, Pietro’s best man. An old legend has Alessandro a pupil of Carissimi, but Carissimi died in ...