Ferdinando Orlandi

by popularity
L'avaroLe lettere
Ferdinando Orlandi (7 October 1774 – 5 January 1848), also referred to as Orland and Orlando. Little is known of his early life and his year of birth is also cited as 1777. He was an Italian musician and teacher of singing who composed cantatas and sacred music (including four masses), but was particularly known for his operas, not all of which have survived. He was born and died in Parma.
Orlandi studied music with Gaspare Rugarli, organist at the ducal chapel of Colorno, then in Parma with Gaspare Ghiretti and probably with Ferdinando Paer. In 1793 he entered the Conservatorio della Pietà della Turchini in Naples, where he studied counterpoint with Nichola Sala and Giacomo Tritto. In 1799 he returned to Parma, where he was appointed choirmaster. In 1801, his theatrical career began with the comic opera The Scottish Pupil (La pupilla scozzese) based on a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte that had earlier been set by Antonio Salieri in Vienna in 1789.
When the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza was annexed to the French Republic in 1801, Orlandi moved to Milan, where his very successful comic opera The Mayor of Chioggia (Il podestà di Chioggia) was performed. Contemporary publicity noted that it was a satire on a Venetian magistrate during the turmoil of the Cisalpine Republic. Thereafter Orlandi pursued his career in Milan, where he had become professor at the Conservatory of Music, even after the duchy was restored to Austrian control in 1814. In 1822 he moved to Munich, the Bavarian capital, and the following year to the court of Württemberg in Stuttgart, where he remained as Kapellmeister until 1828. At that period a cantata dedicated to Queen Pauline Therese of Württemberg was published. On his return to Parma, Orlandi applied unsuccessfully for the post of professor of singing at the Ospizio delle Arti. In November 1835 he was given the honorary appointment of choirmaster by the Duchess Maria Luigia and later teacher of choral music. In 1837 he was appointed to the Order of the Golden Spur by Pope Gregory XVI.
Orlandi came to prominence in the first decade of the 19th century, between the death of Domenico Cimarosa and the advent of Gioachino Rossini. By 1813 his operatic career had all but come to an end but saw a last flowering in 1820. Both the texts he set then were based on foreign themes. The libretto of Rodrigo di Valenza by Felice Romani had already been set by Pietro Generali in 1817 and performed in Milan. Loosely based on William Shakespeare’s King Lear, the scene was transposed to Spain. Fedra, Orlandi’s final opera, was based on the Classical story of Phaedra but completely failed. It should be noted too that Giovanni Bertati's libretto for L'Avaro was based on Molière's L'Avare. It had already been set by Pasquale Anfossi in 1775 and in 1776 by Gennaro Astarita.
The following are the operas whose titles are recorded:
The bulk of the information here has been taken from Daniele Carnini's article in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Volume 79 (2013)