Credited as one of the earliest composers in the opera buffa style, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi began composing operas at the age of 22, his first work being Lo frate 'nnammorato. Although he was also adept at taking on the opera seria style of the early 18th century, such as in his Il prigionier superbo, it is his comic works that achieved the highest success.
During his tragically short lifetime, Pergolesi's compositions were not particularly successful, and at the age of just 26 he died in poverty. The news of his death preceded the news of his compositions in many cases, and earned him significant posthumous appreciation. His short intermezzo La serva padrona, written to be performed between the acts of a longer and more serious work, gained increasing popularity, and is regularly performed as a standalone work.
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