An Italian composer, Leonardo Vinci was born in 1696. His music exerted a direct influence on many composers of the next generation, notably Pergolesi and Hasse, and also made an impact on older composers such as Vivaldi and Handel, whose later works incorporated elements of the style of Vinci and his colleagues.
Vinci made his operatic début in 1719 at the Teatro dei Fiorentini in Naples with the commedia per musica Lo cecato fauzo. His second opera followed immediately in July, and for the next three years he was virtual house composer at the Fiorentini. Vinci's first operas were of the commedia per musica type, full-length comic operas with texts primarily in Neapolitan dialect. His Li zite'ngalera, from carnival 1722, is the earliest surviving score of a Neapolitan commedia. Vinci produced his first serious opera, Publio Cornelio Scipione, at the Teatro S Bartolomeo in Naples in 1722; it was so successful that after the production of Lo labborinto during Carnival he turned primarily to the dramma per musica.
In 1724 Vinci secured his first commission outside Naples, setting Lucchini's Farnace for the Teatro delle Dame in Rome. Vinci's activity reached a peak during winter 1725–6 when three new operas were produced: Astianatte in Naples, Didone abbandonata in Rome and Siroe re di Persia in Venice. The last two were the first of a series of successful collaborations between Vinci and Metastasio.
In 1725 he collaborated with C.I. Frugoni on the opera Medo and the equestrian ballet Le nozze di Nettuno for the wedding of the Duke of Parma; he served during the summer as maestro at his former conservatory, where Pergolesi was among his pupils.
During the 1729–30 season Vinci was one of the impresarios at the Teatro delle Dame, as well as its principal composer. In the latter capacity he collaborated with Metastasio on three major works: the serenata La contesa de' numi, and the operas Alessandro nell'Indie and Artaserse . Vinci did not live to enjoy his success. He died in Naples in 1730 amid rumors that he had been poisoned because of an illicit love affair.
New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition
Oxford Music Online