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date: 21 January 2021

Paer, Ferdinandolocked

  • Julian Budden
  •  and Scott L. Balthazar


(b Parma, June 1, 1771; d Paris, May 3, 1839). Italian composer. He was one of the central figures in the development of opera semiseria during the first decade of the 19th century.

Scott L. Balthazar

Paer received his first musical instruction from his father Giulio, a horn player in the Parma court theatre orchestra after 1778, and later studied with the court maestro di cappella Gian Francesco Fortunati. Paer’s first known stage work was Orphée et Euridice (1791, Parma), on a French text with spoken dialogue, and his earliest Italian opera was Circe (1792, Venice). On the strength of these initial accomplishments he was appointed honorary maestro di cappella to the Parma court, a post which allowed him to compose numerous comic operas, many for other cities (among them L’intrigo amoroso for Venice in 1795 which as Saed, ossia Gli intrighi del serraglio was his first opera to make a mark outside Parma), and three ...

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