New film chronicles life of Mozart librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte

Posted on: January 7, 2022

“Most opera lovers and classical music fans are familiar with the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,” writes Pam Kragen in Saturday’s (1/1) San Diego Union-Tribune. “But few know the colorful life of Lorenzo Da Ponte, who served as the librettist on three of the composer’s best-known operas, ‘The Marriage of Figaro,’ ‘Don Giovanni’ and’ Cosi fan tutte.’ Da Ponte’s unusual life … is the subject of ‘Mozart and Figaro in Vienna.’ It’s the latest musical film written and directed by and starring playwright-pianist Hershey Felder. Streaming … Jan. 9, the film is being co-presented by San Diego Repertory Theatre and nearly two dozen other U.S. theaters. Felder lives and works in Florence, Italy, and all of the scenes in the movie were filmed in the Tuscan city…. During his long career, [Da Ponte] served as a priest, was convicted of running a brothel in Venice and banished, went bankrupt and fled to the U.S., where he founded the first American opera house in New York [the Italian Opera House]. The film will feature an international cast of opera singers … as well as members of the Italian orchestra Maggio Musicale Orchestra.… Da Ponte… became a U.S. citizen and died in 1838.”