The Mozart-Da Ponte Operas: The Cultural and Musical Background to Le Nozze Di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosė Fan Tutte
Mozart's collaborations with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte led to the composition of three of the greatest masterpieces in all opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte. The aim of this book is to guide the reader to deeper understanding and enjoyment of these enigmatic works, not so much through detailed musical analysis as through setting the scene for their composition. The author examines the cultural and social context in which they were written, the sort of audience who might have attended, and their tastes and expectations. He considers Mozart's own intentions and aspirations for these works, composed over a period of rapid intellectual and political change, during which his beliefs, ambitions, and position in society changed radically. At a musical level, Mozart's work underwent crucial stylistic developments that are manifest in these three operas. We are also given clues to da Ponte's view of opera and the type of entertainment he set out to create. Finally, the author looks at the practicalities of opera production in Mozart's time, all of which would have influenced the final creation of these works.
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