Thursday, May 30, 2019

Lorenzo Da Ponte

Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749–1838) wrote the libretto for Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro in 1786.

Michael Rose writes in The Birth of An Opera:
[When da Ponte arrived in Vienna in 1781, he] was thirty-two years old, penniless, unknown, and so far without a libretto or even a play to his credit.  Born Emanuele Conegliano, he came from a Venetian Jewish family which had converted to Christianity for practical reasons, had received a thorough education as the protege of his local bishop and been ordained as a priest at the end of it.
An attractive, witty and plausible young man, with a growing reputation as a poet and a taste for liberal politics and married women, he never once allowed his priestly vocation to interfere with his amorous adventures, which were numerous, complicated and risky.

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