Paisiello, Giovanni (jōvänˈnē päēzyĕlˈlō) [key], 1740–1816, Italian composer. Paisiello served in St. Petersburg at the court of Catherine II from 1776 to 1784. He was also briefly Napoleon's maître de chapelle. Paisiello composed some 100 operas, church music, keyboard concertos, string quartets, and other works. His opera The Barber of Seville (1782) was so popular that for a time it hindered the success of Rossini's work of the same name. Paisiello's music is characterized by considerable melodic charm.