Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer from Bergamo in Lombardy. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first fifty years of the Nineteenth Century.
Although Donizetti did not come from a musical background, at an early age he was taken under the wing of composer Simon Mayr who had enrolled him by means of a full scholarship in a school which he had set up. There he received detailed training in the arts of fugue and counterpoint. Mayr was also instrumental in obtaining a place for the young man at the Bologna Academy, where, at the age of 19, he wrote his first one-act opera, the comedy Il Pigmalione, which may not have ever been performed during his lifetime.
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