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 comedy L'Armida imaginaria was commissioned for the Teatro dei Fiorentini in Naples in 1777. Shortly before the work's completion the composer received a second commission for an opera for Teatro Valle in Rome. Pressed for time, Cimarosa reused a large chunk of material from the overture to L'Armida immaginaria in the new work, Il ritorno di Don Calendrino, safe in the knowledge that the earlier work could not possibly be known yet in Rome. The relationship between the two overtures is extremely interesting for Cimarosa does not simply borrow material but reworks it in many small but significant details. The superiority of the later overture indeed makes the 'original' look like a sketch. Thus, in spite of the historical circumstances, the impression one gains is that the overture to L'Armida immaginaria was written in greater haste than its sequel. The reuse of the thematic material, therefore, was as much an aesthetic decision as a pragmatic one.