Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710 – 1736) was an Italian composer, violinist and organist. Pergolesi was one of the most important early composers of opera buffa (comic opera). His opera Seria Il Prigioner Superbo contained the two act buffa intermezzo, La Serva Padrona (1733), which became a very popular work in its own right. When it was given in Paris in 1752, it prompted the so-called Querelle des Bouffons (quarrel of the comedians) between supporters of serious French opera by the likes of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau and supporters of new Italian comic opera. Pergolesi was held up as a model of the Italian style during this quarrel, which divided Paris's musical community for two years.
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