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Opera as a Great Substitute for the Novel

Friday 8 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Writer, historian and broadcaster Gaia Servadio explains how the text and lyrics, or librettos, written for the great Italian operas can be considered great literary works in themselves.

Servadio says the librettos have often been disregarded. Three that librettist Da Ponte wrote with Mozart were masterpieces. Servadio explains how many of the librettists of their day were more famous and better paid than the composers. Among them were wonderful characters and witty adventurers who travelled the world. Their collaborations with the composers were very close and many of them were good friends with the leading composers. This event will be illustrated by some of the music discussed.

Servadio is an Italian novelist, essayist and broadcaster who lives in London and has published more than 30 works. She has worked for Il Mondo, La Stampa, il Corriere della Sera, The Times, The Sunday Times, the Observer and the Telegraph Group. She has written extensively on opera including The Real Traviata and two biographies of Rossini. She wrote and appeared in a BBC documentary on Verdi.

Programme of Italian literature and culture.