Spontini at the court of Napoleon

In 1803 Gaspare Spontini arrived at Paris, and in less than four years he succeeded in entering the court of the Count of Rémusat, friend of the future empress Giuseppina and of her daughter Hydrangea, both keen on singing, particularly romances, in fashion in Paris at that time. Then, thanks to emperor Bonaparte’s support, he entered the Académie Impériale de Musique (Grand Opéra de Paris). On December 31st, 1803, he made his debut at the Théâtre -Italien of Paris; on February 11th, 1804, the comic opera La finta filosofa, already represented in Naples in 1799,  was staged in the same theatre, obtaining a great success. On May 12th, 1804, Spontini performed also the comic opera La petite maison, the score of which has not been found yet, but of which Berlioz spoke with eulogistic terms; on November 27th of the same year the artist performed Milton at the Feydeau Theatre, with a dedication to empress Giuseppina: this is a work rich in Mozartian evocations, in games of timbre and in liederistic moments, with which he inaugurated his literary collaboration with Victor-Joseph-Etienne de Jouy.
Thanks to the success obtained by his comic operas in French, Spontini succeeded in entering the Académie Impériale de Musique: in 1805 he was in fact appointed compositeur particulier de la chambre of the empress.

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