Gaspare Spontini (1774 - 1851)

The Italian composer Spontini established himself in Napoleonic Paris in 1807 with his opera La Vestale, a work much encouraged by the Empress Josephine. The opera was revived by Arturo Toscanini in the early twentieth century and the aria O nume tutelar is taken from that Italian version, made popular by Rosa Ponselle, Anita Cerquetti and Maria Callas.