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Lorenzo Da Ponte


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    Don Giovanni, ossia Il dissoluto punito, K. 527: Overture (attacca) - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Wiener Philharmoniker, Erich Leinsdorf
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    Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492 : "Non più andrai" - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Cesare Siepi, Erich Kleiber, Wiener Philharmoniker
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    Don Giovanni, ossia Il dissoluto punito, K. 527: "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Sir Edward Downes, London Symphony Orchestra
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    Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 : "Non più andrai" - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lucio Gallo, Claudio Abbado, Wiener Philharmoniker
Certain librettist/author collaborations have become legendary in the world of opera, such as von Hoffmannstal and Richard Strauss, Gilbert and Sullivan, and da Ponte and Mozart.
Not only did Mozart began collaborating with da Ponte during his own musical maturity, but da Ponte's witty, precisely worded libretti combined drama and dry humor in a way perfectly suited to Mozart's musical style. He was not limited to Mozart by any means; his librettos inspired some of Vicente Martin y Soler's and Antonio Salieri's best work as well. His first career was as a priest, but his superiors were unamused by his liberal politics and amorous adventures and he was exiled from Venice. He eventually came to Vienna, where Salieri introduced him to Joseph II's court, where he was appointed poet to the court theater when Joseph revived the Italian tradition. Here he produced libretti for some of that theater's best premieres, including the Mozart operas and Martin y Soler's Una cosa rara (then a favorite, now largely forgotten). In 1790, he was forced to leave the court after Leopold II's accession and after various wanderings, settled in London in a position at the King's Theatre in Haymarket. He combined new libretti with arranging music and general involvement with the theater. However, unwise involvement in politics and unsound financial investments led him to start again in the United States, where he wrote his autobiography, some poetry and translations, and was named professor of Italian at Columbia College.


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