Lorenzo Da Ponte: The Life and Times of Mozart’s Librettist

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, Jun 15, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 296 pages

Three of the greatest operas ever written—The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosė fan tutte—join the exquisite music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with the perfectly matched libretti of Lorenzo Da Ponte. Da Ponte’s own long life (1749–1838), however, was more fantastic than any opera plot. A poor Jew who became a Catholic priest; a priest who became a young gambler and rake; a teacher, poet, and librettist of genius who became a Pennsylvania greengrocer; an impoverished immigrant to America who became professor of Italian at Columbia University—wherever Da Ponte went, he arrived a penniless fugitive and made a new and eventful life. Sheila Hodges follows him from the last glittering years of the Venetian Republic to the Vienna of Mozart and Salieri, and from George III’s London to New York City.


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Lorenzo da Ponte: the life and times of Mozart's librettist

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Although remembered today as Mozart's brilliant librettist for Le Nozze di Figaro , Don Giovanni , and Cosi Fan Tutte , Lorenzo da Ponte had an amazing career as writer, poet, impresario, and ... Read full review

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User Review  - Mouldywarp - LibraryThing

A thoroughly enjoyable biography of Da Ponte, who comes across as a lovable but naive literary master. Read full review


Chronological Table of the Main Events of Da Pontes Life
Da Pontes Works
Notes and References

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About the author (2002)

Sheila Hodges is a writer living in London and author of eight books, as well as articles published in Opera Quarterly, Music Review, and other journals. She was formerly in charge of the editorial department at the publishing house of Victor Gollancz, where she edited all of Daphne du Maurier’s books in the last forty years of the author’s life.

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