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Howard Mayer Brown

revised by Iain Fenlon

the earliest court operas, Monteverdi's Orfeo ( 1607 ), was commissioned by Prince Francesco Gonzaga of Mantua to entertain members of the Accademia degli Invaghiti. By the 18th century the Accademia degl'Intronati had its own theatre, described on the title-page of various opera librettos as the ‘Teatro Grande della nobilissima Accademia degl'Intronati’, where opera was performed during Carnival season. Various other academies even served as financial guarantors of opera seasons. Thus the Accademia degli Immobili in Florence supported opera productions at the