Francesco Cavalli: 14 Feb 1602 – 14 Jan 1676

By | September 4, 2020


Black and white, head and shoulders drawing of Francesco Cavalli

Francesco Cavalli was an Italian composer known chiefly for his opera. He was actually born Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni and took his name from his patron, Venetian nobleman Federico Cavalli.


In 1616 he became a singer at St. Marks Basilica in Venice under Claudio Monteverdi, whose opera Orfeo is said to be the opera that established opera. Cavalli progressed from second to first organist. Then in 1668 he became maestro di capella.

Unlike Monteverdi, Cavalli made use of small orchestra’s in order to accommodate the limitations of public opera houses and his operas require no trained chorus. He wrote forty one operas.

The Glyndebourne production of La Calisto is an example of Cavalli’s work being revived in the twentieth century – Amaru Servitu is a piece from this opera which we have on for the French Horn.

Further Reading

For further information on Francesco Cavalli take a look at Wikipedia and Britannica.

Leave a Reply