Leonardo VinciSunday, September 09, 2017
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Leonardo Vinci

1690 - 27 May 1730
A composer whose music turned the heads of Vivaldi and Handel, he became an overnight success in comic opera at age 29 and died from poison at the height of his fame. Was it a jilted lover or a jealous rival?
The Leonardo Vinci website is a collaborative project featuring the work of a number of international researchers and performers. Over time we hope to add to the information available on this fascinating composer and invite you to contribute to the available editions, biographies, articles and discussions.
Pietro Metastasio
Life of the 18th century poet and librettist
Contributor: James Sanderson

Metastasio, Pietro (1698-1782), Italian poet, whose librettos dominated 18th-century opera. Born in Rome and originally named Pietro Antonio Domenico Bonaventura Trapassi, he was educated in law and the classics by a wealthy patron and studied music under the Italian opera composer Nicola Porpora. His first libretto, Didone abbandonata (Dido Abandoned, 1724), established his fame in Italy, and in 1730 he went to Vienna as court poet. His 27 librettos were set to music more than 800 times by such composers as W. A. Mozart, the Germans Christoph Willibald Gluck, Johann Christian Bach, and George Frideric Handel, and the Italians Giovanni Pergolesi, Tommaso Traëtta, and Niccolò Jommelli. With their aristocratic ideals and conflicts of reason and feeling, they were perfectly suited to 18th-century heroic opera. They include Artaserse (1730), Alessandro nell'Indie (1731), and La clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus, 1734). His verse was admired for its musicality and faithfulness to speech.

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