Domenico Cimarosa was the most famous and popular Italian opera composer of the second half of the 18th Century. In the course of a brilliantly successful career he composed more than 65 operas as well as a significant body of instrumental music and works for the church. His operas were performed all over Europe, both in Italian and in translation. A number of Cimarosa's operas continued to enjoy occasional stagings during the 19th Century, and his most famous work, Il matrimonio segreto, is one of only a handful of operas of the period never to have left the repertory. Cimarosa's dramma giocoso in two acts, Giannina e Bernadone, was given its prima at Teatro San Samuele in Venice in November 1781 and remains one of his most celebrated comic operas. Like allof Cimarosa's overtures, Giannina e Bernadone is remarkable for its vitality, melodic invention and assured handling of the orchestra.