by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Paper Book, 2000




New York ; [Great Britain] : New York Review Books, 2000.


Lorenzo Da Ponte wrote three brilliant libretti for Mozart - Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro - to which plot and counterplot are central. They were also the substance of Da Ponte's own extraordinary life. From the canals of Venice to the streets of New York, Da Ponte ran the gamut of intrigues, meeting a host of remarkable men in the process. Priest, professional gambler, court poet, impresario, proprietor of a bordello and grocery store and the first professor of Italian literature at Colombia University, Lorenzo Da Ponte's life (1749-1838) was led and documented with unfailing flair.

User reviews

LibraryThing member lunarcheck
The memoirs give interesting insights into the world of music and patronage in eighteenth century Europe. Da Ponte comes across as a sincere but naïve person. He was undoubtedly a gifted librettist but he was probably very bad at the business of music or in fact any business. I had been hoping to learn about his collaboration with Mozart but there is very little information. Overall an interesting autobiography.… (more)
LibraryThing member lilithcat
Lorenzo da Ponte was the librettist of three of Mozart's greatest operas, Il Nozze di Figaro, Cosí fan Tutte, and what is probably my favorite opera of all time, Don Giovanni. A converted Jew who was at various times a priest, a gambler and the proprietor of a bordello, among many other occupations, Da Ponte was a friend of Casanova and the protegé of Clement Moore. The memoirs end a few months after he has opened a bookstore in New York.… (more)


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