Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Interesting Life Of Lorenzo Da Ponte

As you know, once in a while I go all "history" on youz fine folks. Let's face it, you can't escape culture, arts and history when it comes to Italia. A friend sent me this link to librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte.

More on his bio:

"During his tenure Da Ponte wrote the librettos for numerous operas. The most notable of these were for three Mozart masterpieces— The Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Così fan tutte (1790)—for which he contributed elegant, witty, and eminently singable words and created or adapted powerful plots and characters. Driven from Vienna after the emperor's death, Da Ponte wandered through Europe, married in Trieste, and settled (1792) in London. There he worked as a tutor of Italian, a bookseller, and a librettist to an Italian opera company until he went bankrupt in 1804.

Great influence: First Mozart, then America

A year later Da Ponte immigrated to America, where he failed in attempts to be a grocer, at selling medicines and drygoods, and at running a distillery. After a chance meeting with Clement Clarke Moore , however, he soon began a more successful career, spending most of the rest of his life in New York City as a celebrated teacher of Italian. A pioneer in the dissemination of Italian culture in the United States, he taught (1805-25) nearly 2,000 private pupils and in 1830 was appointed Columbia College's first professor of Italian language and literature (and the first such professor in the United States). His library, bought by Columbia in 1825, was the nucleus of its collection of Italian poetry and miscellaneous literature. In 1833 he helped establish the Italian Opera House in lower Manhattan, the first attempt to create a permanent American home for Italian opera. Da Ponte's last years were marred by poverty and the failure (1836) of the opera house."


  1. For a great (long) article on Lorenzo da Ponte, Venice, Mozart, American history and more, read this article:

  2. I am working on a musical about Lorenzo DaPonte at TH eNew York Musical Theatre Festival. Check out the NYMF website for info: