- Harris S. Saunders
(b Venice; fl 1675–81). Italian librettist . His first libretto was for the Teatro ai Saloni, a small Venetian theatre used by academics for plays and only intermittently for opera. On the title-page, he styles himself the somnolent follower of Tasso (‘sonnolento tassista’), in his letter to the reader, he emphasizes that he is not a professional. His two other librettos were for successive seasons at the Teatro S Angelo. In all three works the emphasis is on lively, often comic, stage interaction, with plots loosely based on history. Odoacre, for example, mixes matters of war, love and succession and illustrates the havoc wrought by the tyrant Odoacer conqueror of Rome. Set by Giovanni Varischino Odoacre proved to be one of the most popular operas of the 1680s. Because of its modest staging requirements it could be easily mounted, even on provincial stages, and within seven years of its Venetian première it was produced in nine other towns. The last production under the original title was in Naples (...