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Born Feb. 9, 1709, in Matera, in the vicinity of Naples; died June 11, 1775, in Paris. Italian composer.
Duni studied with his father, Antonio Duni, and later with F. Durante in Naples. He was one of the founders of the French comic opera. He wrote opera seria (mainly to the librettos of P. Metastasio: Nero, 1735; Artaxerxes, 1744; and many others); in the 1750’s he wrote opera buffa (The Good Daughter, 1756; The Strange Simpleton, 1751). After 1757 he worked in Paris where, in cooperation with C. Favart, he wrote and produced 23 operas on themes from everyday life as well as from fairy tales, including Fairy Urgèle (1765) and The Reapers (1768), which were distinguished by the realistic vividness of their characterizations of folk heroes. Duni’s work, which combined the best features of the Italian opera buffa and the French comic opera, had an influence on 18th-century French operatic composers.