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Nicola Porpora was a composer who helped to turn Italian opera into the most successful and spectacular genre in Europe. One of the few luminaries of the 'Neapolitan School' to actually be born in Naples, Porpora wrote L'Angelica, a serenade for six voices and instruments, to a libretto by the young Pietro Metastasio in 1720. The work was composed for the birthday of Empress Elizabeth Christine, wife of Charles VI, and it's plot is comedic, focusing on the travails of a couple in love. The opera's success was immediate, resulting in the commissioning of further works that would lead to ever more glamorous successes for Porpora in Venice, London, Dresden and Vienna.