1762 – 1830
Who was Marcos Portugal?
Portugal was born in Lisbon. He first studied music at the Patriarchal Seminary in Lisbon where, as a 14 year old student, he wrote his first work, a Miserere. He later worked as composer and organist at the Patriarchal See, and was maestro at the Theatre of Salitre in Lisbon. He lived in Italy from late 1792 to 1800, possibly funded by the Prince Regent, D. João. He wrote 21 operas for various Italian theatres, the first being I due gobbi premièred in Florence in the spring of 1793. His version of The Marriage of Figaro premièred in Venice in 1799.
Marcos Portugal returned to his home country in 1800. The huge success that his opere buffe had earned him assure him a still unsurpassed international fame in Portuguese music history. He became maestro at the São Carlos National Theatre in Lisbon, and was appointed music master at the Patriarchal Seminary in Lisbon.
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