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Braccioli, Graziolocked

  • Michael Talbot

(b Ferrara, 1682; d Ferrara, July 26, 1752). Italian librettist. By profession he was a lawyer; most of his activity as a librettist took place during a period of residence in Venice around 1710–15. His earliest libretto was Crisippo, set by Floriano Arresti in 1710. The next year saw the appearance of his Armida in Damasco (G. Rampini), the first of nine librettos exclusively for the Venetian theatre of S Angelo. The best known of these are Orlando furioso and Orlando finto pazzo (both set by Vivaldi). The last of his librettos was Alessandro fra le Amazoni. After his return to Ferrara Braccioli ended his involvement with opera but remained active in other literary fields. He was a member of the Roman Arcadia under the name of Nigello Preteo. In his adaptation for the operatic stage of episodes from the epics of Ariosti, Boiardo and Tasso he showed imagination and ingenuity, managing to preserve something of the liveliness of his sources amid a ‘reforming’ literary climate quite alien in spirit.

Writings

  • Crisippo, Arresti, 1710; Armida in Damasco, Rampini, 1711; La gloria trionfante d’amore, Rampini, 1712; Arsinoe vendicata, Ruggieri, 1712; La costanza in cimento con la crudeltà, Arresti, 1712; Orlando furioso, Ristori, 1713 (Vivaldi, 1714, rev. 1727 as Orlando; Schürmann, 1722; Bioni, 1724; O. Pollarolo, 1725; various later pasticcios); Calfurnia, Heinichen, 1713; Orlando finto pazzo, Vivaldi, 1714; Rodomonte sdegnato, Gasparini, 1714; Alessandro fra le Amazoni, Chelleri, 1715

Bibliography

  • G. M. Mazzuchelli: Gli scrittori d’Italia, 2/4 (Brescia, 1763), 1954–6
  • B. Brizi: ‘Gli Orlandi di Vivaldi attraverso i libretti’, Antonio Vivaldi: teatro musicale, cultura e società: Venice 1981, 315–30
  • A. L. Bellina, B. Brizi and M. G. Pensa: I libretti vivaldiani (Florence, 1982), 85–96
  • J. W. Hill: ‘Vivaldi’s Orlando: Sources and Contributing Factors’, Opera and Vivaldi, ed. M. Collins and E. K. Kirk (Austin, 1984), 327–46