Nicola Porpora, 1686-1768


Selected Recordings

Sonata XI in D Major

Il Gedeone – Odo le strida

De profundis clamavi, Psalm 129

Selected Sheet Music

Alto Giove



Showcase Piece

Alto Giove

Notes and Commentary

Nicola (Antonio) Porpora (or Niccolò Porpora) was an Italian composer of Baroque operas and teacher of singing, whose most famous singing student was the castrato Farinelli. Other students included composers Matteo Capranica and Joseph Haydn. 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, because composing operas alone did not yet make a viable career.

His enduring fame rests chiefly upon his unequalled power of teaching singing, not his compositions. Indeed, towards the end of his career, 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, two of his most well-known students, 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, one mass, his Venetian Vespers, and the opera Arianna in Nasso have been recorded.

He lived from August 17, 1686, to March 3, 1768.Excerpted from Wikipedia

Books and Music

Selected Books

Two Fugues for Clavier ( sheet music )
Adegi Graphics, 2011
$17.41 on Amazon


Selected Music

porpora-6 Or Si M’Aveggio Oh Amore (2008), 1 CD

porpora-4 Il Gedeone (1999), 2-CD set

porpora-7 Opera Arias (2009), 1 CD

More Nicola Porpora music

Complete Works


Flavio Anicio Olibrio
Basilio, re di Oriente
Arianna e Teseo
Berenice regina d’Egitto

See complete list of operas


Davide e Bersabea


12 cantatas for solo voice and continuo
I. D’amore il primo dardo
II. Nel mio sonno almen (Il sogno)
III. Tirsi chiamare a nome
IV. Queste che miri O Nice
V. Scrivo in te l’amato nome (Il nome)
VI. Già la notte s’avvicina (La pesca)
VII. Veggo la selva e il monte
VIII. Or che una nube ingrata
IX. Destatevi destatevi 0 pastori
X. Oh se fosse il mio core
XI. Oh Dio che non è vero
XII. Dal pover mio core

Instrumental music

6 Sinfonie da camera op.2
12 Sonatas for violin and bass op.12
12 Triosonatas for 2 violins and bass
Sonatas for cello and Bass
Concerto for cello and strings

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