Metastasio [Trapassi], Pietro (opera) (Antonio Domenico Bonaventura )
- Don Neville
(Antonio Domenico Bonaventura )
(b Rome, Jan 3, 1698; d Vienna, April 12, 1782). Italian poet and librettist . His fame rests chiefly with his 27 opera seria librettos written between 1723 and 1771. In settings by over 300 composers, adapted versions of these texts span a period of over a hundred years that stretches well into the 19th century.
Metastasio’s father, Felice Trapassi, came to Rome from Assisi; his mother, Francesca Galastri, from Bologna. Trapassi first joined the papal regiment but later set up a small grocery business with his wife. The family was poor, and the early education of both Pietro and his brother, Leopoldo, was arranged by Pietro’s godfather, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. In 1708, Pietro’s education was taken over by Gian Vincenzo Gravina, a jurist and a man of letters who, impressed by the boy’s intelligence and ability at verse improvisation, adopted him and directed his studies in the classics, projecting for him a career in law. He also introduced his new ward to influential members of society and, until such time as the boy’s delicate health seemed in jeopardy, encouraged him to recite at social gatherings and to participate in improvisation contests. Under Gravina’s supervision, Pietro Trapassi wrote, in ...