(b Crema, 1602; d Venice, 1676).
It. composer of operas, possibly pupil of Monteverdi. Joined choir of St Mark's, Venice, 1616, becoming second organist 1639. Monteverdi was dir. of mus. for much of this period. Début as opera composer 1639 with Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo. From then until 1670 about 40 of his operas were prod. in Venice. Twice visited Paris, his Xerse (Venice 1654) being given in the Louvre in 1660 as part of Louis XIV's marriage festivities. Operatic importance lies in enlargement of dramatic potentialities and command of comic possibilities. Operas incl. Didone (1641), La virtù de'strali d'amore (1642), Egisto (1643), Ormindo (1644), Doriclea (1645), Giasone (Jason) (1649), Oristeo (1651), Calisto (1651), Eritrea (1652), Orione (1653), Xerse (1654), Erismena (1655), Statira, Principessa di Persia (1655), Ercole amante (1662), Scipione affricano (1664), Mutio Scevola (1665), and Pompeo magno (1666). Ormindo and Calisto were revived successfully at Glyndebourne in realizations by Raymond Leppard which are sometimes some way removed from the original score. Other recent eds. incl. Jane Glover and René Jacobs. Cavalli was also an org. and composer of church mus. (e.g. Vespers of the Annunciation (1675) and a Requiem) and instr. pieces.