Da Ponte, Lorenzo [Conegliano, Emmanuele]
- Tim Carter
- and Dorothea Link
(b Ceneda [now Vittorio Veneto], March 10, 1749; d New York, Aug 17, 1838). Italian librettist. His involvement in the remarkable flowering of opera buffa in Vienna from 1783 to 1790 and his collaborations with Martín y Soler, Salieri and, above all, Mozart make him arguably the most significant librettist of his generation: his three librettos for Mozart (Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte) are justifiably regarded as peaks of the genre.
Da Ponte’s biographers rely largely on his Memorie. Begun at the age of 60 as an apologia for a life plagued by (often self-induced) misfortune, they present a carefully constructed image of the man and his work. Accounts of raffish adventures in the manner of his friend Casanova mix with vainglorious statements of achievement and accusations of treachery by friend and foe; sometimes fact can only with difficulty be separated from fiction....