Emanuele d’Astorga (1680–1757) was born in Augusta, Sicily. He is without doubt the most intriguing composer. It is a fact that he was a baron, and that he, as an officer in the army, took part in crushing a Sicilian rebellion. When he was near 40 years of age he married a fifteen years old girl, only to leave her with three children after seven years. But he had taken care of her financial independence. After that, he journeyed through all of Europe and it is not known exactly where and when he died.
Astorga was a self-made composer and never worked as a professional musician. He was well-known for his chamber cantatas.
His life was a source of inspiration for many legends and stories. Not only a novel and a two-part biography were written about him, but even a complete opera “Astorga”, in which the hero loses his mind and comes to his senses only after hearing the music of his own Stabat Mater.