- Dale E. Monson
(b Calabria, 1742; d Naples, 1795). Italian librettist and writer on music . A Neapolitan lawyer, he published works of poetry, biography, jurisprudence and religion; his biography of Jommelli is one of the most important contemporary descriptions of the composer, who, during his last years, was an intimate friend of Mattei’s. Mattei also greatly enlarged the library of the Naples conservatory. His writings on dramatic poetry and opera continue the calls for reform voiced throughout the 18th century by such literati as Muratori (1706), Algarotti (1755) and Arteaga (1783), although Mattei was an ardent admirer of Metastasio’s drammi. He wrote a single serenata libretto, Il natal d’Apollo, set to music by Pasquale Cafaro for Naples in 1775.Saggio di poesie latine, ed italiane (Naples, 1774); repr. as ‘Elogio del Jommelli o sia il progresso della poesia, e musica teatrale’, Memorie per servire alla vita di Metastasio...