An outstanding Italian opera composer, Amilcare Ponchielli was regarded second only to the great Verdi. Ponchielliís international fame came with the triumph of his La Gioconda, staged at La Scala in 1876. In 1881, Ponchielli assumed the position of Maestro di Cappella at the Bergamo Cathedral. In 1883, Ponchielli was appointed professor of the Milan Conservatory.
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