Operatic Libretti and Librettists

The Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York, NY, USA

  • Description: This course explores the life and work of Italian librettists for operas recently performed at The Metropolitan Opera, including Lorenzo Da Ponte, Salvadore Cammarano, Giuseppe Giacosa, and Luigi Illica. In addition to discussions of biographical and historical contexts, the readings, handouts and listening excerpts will focus on the exploration of source materials behind libretto texts. Participants will also learn about the process of adaptation and interpretation of texts within operatic frameworks, and the relationship between text and music in the creative process. Each chapter includes a series of lesson components, including video lectures, readings, and handouts curated by the instructor. Each reading is accompanied by a set of reading response questions, crafted by the instructor to aid in self-guided learning.
  • The breakdown of topics covered in this course are as follows:
    • Chapter 1: Introduction to Operatic Libretti
    • Chapter 2: Introduction to Italian Poetic Meter
    • Chapter 3: Lorenzo Da Ponte (Highlighted operas include Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni)
    • Chapter 4: Salvadore Cammarano (Highlighted operas include Lucia di Lammermoor and Il trovatore)
    • Chapter 5: Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica (Highlighted operas include La bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly)