Mozart’s Librettist

Not often mentioned with the same reverence as the composer, the work of a librettist is no less important to a genre which, from its inception, sought to combine the magical forces of music and drama to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

While Mozart is the very definition of a household name (even among folks who can’t even name one of his works), his most successful collaborator is all-but-unknown to those who are not ardent opera fans. The Venetian writer, Lorenzo Da Ponte, wrote the libretti for three of Mozart’s most celebrated operas; The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutte. And yet you may have never heard of him.

The Life of Lorenzo Da Ponte

By Michele Pekenino (engraver, 19th century) after Nathaniel Rogers (American, 1788-1844)

Born in the Jewish ghetto of Venice, Lorenzo converted to Christianity as a youth when his widower father married a Catholic woman. Emboldened by an opportunity not yet given to Jews, he entered the priesthood to have access to higher education.

Palm Beach Opera 2018-19 Mainstage Season Announcement

Palm Beach Opera has announced its 2018-2019 mainstage opera season, which will include performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, as well as a new concert, Rising Stars of Opera. All of Palm Beach Opera’s thrilling and elaborate productions will be performed in the Dreyfoos Concert…

Rome in the Time of Tosca

Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece, Tosca, takes place in Rome over the course of about 36 hours. Indeed, the opera has even been performed in real time at the actual locations within The Eternal City, such as the 1992 version starring Placido Domingo and Catherine Malfitano.

The opera is based on a French play, La Tosca, where the playwright described the exact dates and time of the action as taking place in the afternoon, evening, and early morning of June 17th and 18th, in the year 1800.

Anyone who has traveled to Rome in the 21st century knows that the buildings which make up the setting of Tosca have not changed a lot in 200+ years. They can still be visited in very much the same state as they were when the sensuous singer Floria Tosca and her artist lover Caravadossi conspired to outwit their nemesis, Scarpia.

Let’s have a quick tour of these locations.

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