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Amilcare Ponchielli
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    (August 31, 1834-January 16, 1886)
    Born in Cremona, Italy
    Composed the operas 'I promessi sposi' (1856), 'I Lituani' (1874) and 'La Gioconda' (1876)
    Even in his prime, he was completely overshadowed by Giuseppe Verdi.
    Although he wrote ten operas, 'La Gioconda' is the only one still performed with any regularity.
    The most famous song from 'La Gioconda,' the ballet 'The Dance of the Hours,' is more often recognized as the music for Allan Sherman's 'Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah' than as a classical composition.
    'La Gioconda' is one of the few operas with principal parts for each of the six major voice types (soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone and bass).
    'The Dance of the Hours' was featured in Disney's 'Fantasia.'
    He became a teacher of composition at the Milan Conservatory, where his students included Puccini and Mascagni.

Credit: C. Fishel

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