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Download Lorenzo Da Ponte: The Life and Times of Mozart's Librettist by Sheila Hodges PDF

By Sheila Hodges

3 of the best operas ever written—The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cos? fan tutte—join the beautiful tune of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with the superbly matched libretti of Lorenzo Da Ponte. Da Ponte’s personal lengthy lifestyles (1749–1838), besides the fact that, was once extra significant than any opera plot. A terrible Jew who turned a Catholic priest; a clergyman who grew to become a tender gambler and rake; a instructor, poet, and librettist of genius who turned a Pennsylvania greengrocer; an impoverished immigrant to the United States who grew to become professor of Italian at Columbia University—wherever Da Ponte went, he arrived a penniless fugitive and made a brand new and eventful lifestyles. Sheila Hodges follows him from the final glittering years of the Venetian Republic to the Vienna of Mozart and Salieri, and from George III’s London to manhattan urban.

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Extra resources for Lorenzo Da Ponte: The Life and Times of Mozart's Librettist

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Who could have resisted her? Not Da Ponte, a hot-blooded young man of thirty, and he fell in love with her instantly. She knew no Italian, but this hardly mattered. Sending one of her maids for a dictionary, she pointed out the words 'Ich - liebe - Sie', and Da Ponte, turning to the Italian half of the dictionary, soon discovered that they meant 'I love you'. He had no difficulty in translating 'And I love you' into 'Und - ich - liebe - Sie'. In this way the evening passed pleasantly, though Da Ponte, who was ravenously hungry, failed to make his delicious landlady understand that he needed supper - she misinterpreted his signs as amorous compliments.

But they did not arrest him on the strength of the poem - were they afraid of repercussions, or did they want to provide such convincing evidence against him that a sentence of banishment would seem right and just? Whatever the reason, it seems possible that they used the scandalous affair with Angioletta as an excuse for bringing proceedings against him for mala vita. For three and a half months the trial followed its leisurely course, until on 13 September 1779 the order went out for his arrest.

He was much attached to the latter, and they exchanged many letters which contain interesting - and often spiteful - references to Da Ponte. It was, in fact, in the houses of Zaguri and of another patrician, Giorgio Pisani, that Da Ponte and Casanova now first met, as they were to do intermittently over the years. These men did their best to protect Da Ponte. At Memmo's suggestion he addressed a rhyming appeal to Gozzi asking for support, Gozzi, se un cor gentile And Zaguri, Memmo and Giovanni da Lezze, Girolamo's one-time el11ployer, drew up a petition on his behalf, which Girolamo presented to the Council of Ten, to whom Gozzi also addressed several appeals.

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