Nicola Porpora

String ensemble
Mixed chorus
Secular cantatas
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Religious music
by alphabet
Polifemo6 Sonatas12 Cantate da cameraGermanico in GermaniaAbbandonata e sola, S.1Semiramide riconosciuta6 FuguesSinfonia da camera in G major, Op.2 No.1Fugue in E-flat majorL'AgrippinaIl trionfo di Camilla6 duetti latiniCarlo il CalvoMeride e SelinunteSinfonia da camera in C major, Op.2 No.2Già la notte s'avvicina, S.45Violin Sonata in A major, Op.12 No.1Da tue veloci candide colombePoroSalve regina in F majorSe vuoi saper perché, S.107Deos qui salvastiCalcante ed AchilleBeatus vir in C major, INP 13Lasciovi alfin grandezze, S.54Violin Sonata in D major, Op.12 No.1112 Violin Sonatas, Op.12Imeneo in AteneE puoi crudel lasciarmiAh nò che non si può, S.3Arianna in NassoGli orti esperidiAdelaide6 Sinfonie da camera, Op.2Movo il piè lo sguardo giroFlute Concerto in D majorAmor crudele Amore, S.7Sinfonia da camera in D major, Op.2 No.4Sinfonia da camera in G minor, Op.2 No.3Laudate pueri in G majorOuverture Royale in D majorSinfonia da camera in B-flat major, Op.2 No.6Il GedeoneIl martirio di S. Giovanni NepomucenoPassaggier che dell'onde paventaDixit Dominus in G majorDestatevi, o pastori, S.31Col tuo dolce mormorio, S.15Se la rosa fresca e bella, S.101Beatus vir in C major, INP 14MitridateD'amore il primo dardo, S.23Beatus vir in C major, INP 15Alla caccia dell'alme, S.4Ad onta del timore, S.2Siedi Amarilli, S.108Kyrie in F majorOr che una nube ingrata, S.81Amanti voi scherzate, S.6Sorge la bella Aurora, S.112SifaceT'intendo sì mio cor, S.119Oh Dio che non è vero, S.73Questo è il platano frondoso, S.98Ecco l'infausto lido, S.40Or che d'orrido verno, S.79Dal povero mio cor, S.21Oh se fosse il mio core in libertà, S.74Veggo la selva e il monte, S.129Ninfe e pastoriLontananza non risana le ferite, S.57Fille se fiera sorte, S.43Nel mio sonno almen talora, S.63Vidi la navicella, S.131Tu ten vai così fastoso, S.127Tirsi chiamare a nome, S.121Dunque crudel tu scherziNon so come resisto, S.69Scrivo in te l'amato nome, S.100Siroe, re di PersiaQuando penso esser disciolto, S.94Quanto s'inganna, S.95Queste che miri o Nice, S.97Core amante di perchè, S.16Perdono, amata Nice, S.88bDalla regia di Flora, S.20In amor sarò costante, S.49Cieco dio foss'io quel fiore, S.12Datti pace se puoi, S.25La verità nell'ingannoEra il tempo, S.41Niegami pur confortoDixit Dominus in B-flat majorArtaserseAvis canora in frondeCello Concerto in G majorCello Sonata in F majorChi nel Signor confidaDeianira, Iole, ErcoleFilandroL'AngelicaStatiraTemistocleViolin Sonata in C major, Op.12 No.8Violin Sonata in D major, Op.12 No.3Violin Sonata in D minor, Op.12 No.12Violin Sonata in E major, Op.12 No.9Violin Sonata in G major, Op.12 No.2Violin Sonata in G minor, Op.12 No.5
Nicola (or Niccolò) Antonio Porpora (17 August 1686 – 3 March 1768) was an Italian composer and teacher of singing of the Baroque era, whose most famous singing students were the castrati Farinelli and Caffarelli. Other students included composers Matteo Capranica and Joseph Haydn.
Porpora was born in Naples. He graduated from the music conservatory Poveri di Gesù Cristo of his native city, where the civic opera scene was dominated by Alessandro Scarlatti. Porpora's first opera, Agrippina, was successfully performed at the Neapolitan court in 1708. His second, Berenice, was performed at Rome. In a long career, he followed these up by many further operas, supported as maestro di cappella in the households of aristocratic patrons, such as the commander of military forces at Naples, prince Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt, or of the Portuguese ambassador at Rome, for composing operas alone did not yet make a viable career. However, his enduring fame rests chiefly upon his unequalled power of teaching singing. At the Neapolitan Conservatorio di Sant'Onofrio and with the Poveri di Gesù Cristo he trained Farinelli, Caffarelli, Salimbeni, and other celebrated vocalists, during the period 1715 to 1721. In 1720 and 1721 he wrote two serenades to libretti by a gifted young poet, Metastasio, the beginning of a long, though interrupted, collaboration. In 1722 his operatic successes encouraged him to lay down his conservatory commitments.
After a rebuff from the court of Charles VI at Vienna in 1725, Porpora settled mostly in Venice, composing and teaching regularly in the schools of La Pietà and the Incurabili. In 1729 the anti-Handel clique invited him to London to set up an opera company as a rival to Handel's, without success, and in the 1733–1734 season, even the presence of his pupil, the great Farinelli, failed to save the dramatic company in Lincoln's Inn Fields (the "Opera of the Nobility") from bankruptcy.
An interval as Kapellmeister at the Dresden court of the Elector of Saxony and Polish King Augustus from 1748 ended in strained relations with his rival in Venice and Rome, the hugely successful opera composer Johann Adolph Hasse and his wife, the prima donna Faustina, and resulted in Porpora's departure in 1752.
From Dresden he went to Vienna, where among other pupils he trained the young Marianne von Martinez, a future composer. As his accompanist and valet he hired the youthful Joseph Haydn, who was making his way in Vienna as a struggling freelancer. Haydn later remembered Porpora thus: "There was no lack of Asino, Coglione, Birbante [ass, cullion, rascal], and pokes in the ribs, but I put up with it all, for I profited greatly from Porpora in singing, in composition, and in the Italian language." He also said that he had learned from the maestro "the true fundamentals of composition".
In 1753 Porpora spent three summer months, with Haydn in tow, at the spa town Mannersdorf am Leithagebirge. His function there was to continue the singing lessons of the mistress of the ambassador of Venice to the Austrian Empire, Pietro Correr.
Porpora returned in 1759 to Naples.
From this time Porpora's career was a series of misfortunes: his florid style was becoming old-fashioned, his last opera, Camilla, failed, his pension from Dresden stopped, and he became so poor that the expenses of his funeral were paid by a subscription concert. Yet at the moment of his death, Farinelli and Caffarelli were living in splendid retirement on fortunes largely based on the excellence of the old maestro's teaching.
A good linguist, who was admired for the idiomatic fluency of his recitatives, and a man of considerable literary culture, Porpora was also celebrated for his conversational wit. He was well-read in Latin and Italian literature, wrote poetry and spoke French, German and English.
Besides some four dozen operas, there are oratorios, solo cantatas with keyboard accompaniment, motets and vocal serenades. Among his larger works, his 1720 opera Orlando, oratorio Gedeone (1737), one mass, his Venetian Vespers, and the operas Germanico in Germania (1732) and Arianna in Nasso (1733 according to HOASM) have been recorded.