Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) was one of the principal Italian composers of comic operas. He was born of a poor family, and his parents, anxious to give him a good education, moved to Naples, where they sent him to a free school. He began his career with the comic opera Le Stravaganze del conte, From 1784 to 1787 Cimarosa lived in various Italian cities, composing both serious and comic operas. He lived mainly in Naples, and during its occupation by the French Republican troops in 1799, Cimarosa openly showed his republican sympathies, so that on the return of the Bourbons he was imprisoned. After being released, he left Naples in broken health. His death from an intestinal disorder led to the rumour of his having been poisoned by his enemies; a formal inquest proved the charge to be unfounded. Cimarosa was a prolific composer whose music abounds in fresh and never-failing melody. His numerous operas are remarkable for their apt characterizations and abundant comic life.