Few librettists would be remembered were it not for their association with opera; one striking exception, however, is Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart’s librettist for “Le nozze di Figaro” [The Marriage of Figaro].
Da Ponte, a Jewish convert to Roman Catholicism, became a priest and playwright to the Habsburg court in Vienna. He ultimately emigrated to the United States, where he founded both New York City’s first professional opera company and the Italian Department at Columbia University.
“Le nozze di Figaro” was adapted from an incendiary French play. Though the politics are toned down, the social criticism is still intense. “Figaro’s” impact has never waned and it is the oldest opera never to have left the standard repertoire.
To be taught in English by David Kerr on three dates from which to choose. No pre-existing knowledge of either music or Italian required.