- Harris S. Saunders
(b Venice; fl 1709–10). Italian librettist . Briani wrote only two librettos, both for the Teatro S Giovanni Grisostomo, the most prestigious Venetian opera house of his day. They are in the elevated, serious style cultivated at this theatre, and their subjects are closely suited to Briani’s illustrious dedicatees. Both were set by Lotti. Il vincitor generoso (1709) is dedicated to King Frederick IV of Denmark, who visited Venice from 29 December 1708 until 9 March 1709. Although not based on history, it is set in and around Warsaw, which was neutral (as was Denmark during the War of the Spanish Succession). Isacio tiranno (1710), dedicated to a hero of that war, John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, is loosely based on an episode involving Richard I as he passed through Cyprus on his way to the Holy Land. Although neither work was ever restaged in Italy, Paolo Rolli used ...