By Rodney Bolt
In 1805, Lorenzo Da Ponte was once the owner of a small supermarket in big apple. yet due to the fact his beginning into an Italian Jewish family members in 1749, he had already been a clergyman, a poet, the sweetheart of many girls, a scandalous Enlightenment philosopher banned from instructing in Venice, the librettist for 3 of Mozart's so much chic operas, a collaborator with Salieri, a chum of Casanova, and a favourite of Emperor Joseph II. He may move directly to identify big apple City's first opera apartment and be the 1st professor of Italian at Columbia collage. An encouraged innovator yet a hopeless businessman, who enjoyed with wholehearted loyalty and recklessness, Da Ponte was once one of many early immigrants to dwell out the yank dream. In Rodney Bolt's rollicking and widely researched biography, Da Ponte's picaresque lifestyles takes readers from outdated international courts and the again streets of Venice, Vienna, and London to the recent global promise of recent York urban. 2 hundred and fifty years after Mozart's delivery, the existence and legacy of his librettist Da Ponte are as remarkable as ever.
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Additional resources for Librettist of Venice Remarkable Life of Lorenzo Da Ponte Mozart's Poet, Casanova's Friend, & Italian Opera's Impresario in America
As early as 1791, the actor Friederich Schroder famous in his diary, after interpreting a German translation of the libretto of fee, that it was once 'a depressing factor, which lowers all girls, can't most likely please girl spectators, and may hence now not make its fortune'. If the prudish 19th century was once to sentence Così fan tutte for obscenity, the subsequent age may whinge that it was once trivial and misogynistic. a part of Da Ponte is certainly within the cynical Don Alfonso guffawing within the heritage as Dorabella and Fiordiligi succumb with obvious inevitability to their seducers, within the chilly plotting of the women's break and the outrageous parodies of great love arias; and Da Ponte most popular the extra sardonic substitute identify for the opera, 'The tuition for Lovers'. but he's additionally there in surely appealing arias, in affirmations of affection now not handled sarcastically, in Fiordiligi's lengthy resistance to Ferrando's advances and her genuine agony as she eventually yields. Mozart's track enriched Da Ponte's libretto with colours and additional ambiguities, softening crueller edges, including lacquer-layers of which means and affection, pointing moments of satire. As earlier than, composer and poet delicately stitched the comedian and the intense jointly, and made their combine much more advanced by means of an interaction of actual and faked feelings, histrionic bombast and moments of transporting attractiveness. every now and then the parody is scrumptious, at others the opera is obviously severe; occasionally it truly is tough to inform which. Mozart and Da Ponte created a piece that may have critics arguing for hundreds of years, berating it then rescuing it, damning it for its cynicism and triviality, lauding it for its complexity. it's, as one commentator placed it 'iridescent, like a wonderful soap-bubble' within the altering colors it provides to the area. Così used to be certainly partially frivolous and worldly, an unwitting swansong to a existence that used to be disappearing whilst Mozart and Da Ponte have been writing, a farewell billet-doux to the outdated Vienna. but it was once infused with a heat that was once missing in different, extra cynical texts of the time. Così fan tutte was once Les Liaisons dangereuses with center. After Don Giovanni and the revival of Figaro, Da Ponte and Mozart knew the skills of the Burgtheater corporation good, but within the early levels of Così they labored heavily with the singers, it sounds as if exploring probabilities in arias that have been later deserted. Mozart changed an exceptional, high-spirited buffo aria for Benucci (as Guglielmo), which interrupted the movement of the 1st act, with a shorter person who was once extra dramatically acceptable. Skilful stagecraft used to be back to the fore. jointly they created an intimate opera, with simply six characters in an easy surroundings. Così was once poised and focused, comprising quite a few tight ensembles – brief scenes (often invol-vingjust or 3 singers) that intensified the drama. As ever, Da Ponte adapted and minimize each one scene, moulded every one aria to fit the form of Mozart's track, becoming phrases to notes or growing kinds that gave the composer freedom and coupled his sort.