Celebrated Italian composer and singer. Cesti's early career was as a singer in the church and then in the theatre. His career as a composer seems to have started with Alessandro vincitor di se stesso (Venice, Carnival 1651), and he immediately rose to the top of the profession.
Between 1652 and 1657, Cesti worked at the court of Archduke Ferdinand Karl at Innsbruck, during which time he wrote two of his most famous operas: Orontea (1656) and Dori (1657). Cesti returned to Innsbruck in 1661 after three years in Rome singing in the papal choir, and in the following year he composed La magnanimità d'Alessandro in honour of Christina of Sweden. He moved to Vienna in 1666, where he continued to sing, and composed several operas including his most spectacular work, Il pomo d'oro (Vienna, 1668).