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Priest, libertine and librettist: the life and adventures of Lorenzo Da Ponte



Priest, libertine and librettist: the life and adventures of Lorenzo Da Ponte

Who is the man who wrote the words to Mozart and Salieri’s operas?

Jewish-born, later converted and even become a Catholic priest, Lorenzo Da Ponte wrote the words for 28 operas by 11 composers, including three of Mozart's greatest - Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte. But this handsome chap’s own life was scandalous enough to make an opera in its own right. Ordained a priest, in 1773 he moved to Venice, where he taught Latin, Italian and French, and took a mistress. Charged with “public concubinage”, he was banished from the city for 15 years. Left Italy, with the help of Salieri, Da Ponte applied for and got the post of court librettist in Vienna. As such, he was able to collaborate with Mozart, Salieri and Soler. Amid debt and bankruptcy (due to his passion for gambling), Da Ponte fled from Europe to settle in New York where he was appointed the first professor of Italian literature at Columbia College (now University). Dr. Sebastiano Bazzichetto’s lecture will explore the captivating life of this ‘Jack of all trades’, a fascinating man with an even more fascinating and adventurous life


Tickets: $20 General Public / $15 IIC Students | Reservation is required. To register please email | Presented by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.




Sebastiano Bazzichetto
Born in Venice, educated in Italy and Canada, Bazzichetto earned his Ph.D. in Italian Studies at the University of Toronto. Bachelor of Arts with honours in Italian Literature from Università di Padova. Master of Arts in Modern Philology with honours from Università di Padova, and a five-year Diploma with honours from Scuola Galileiana of Higher Education, Padova. Currently based in Toronto, his research investigates the literary panorama of Baroque poetry from the beginning of the 17th century. A former violin student, he also nurtures his great passion for opera and ballet, and he writes as a freelance for the Italian-Canadian newspaper Corriere Canadese on its cultural pages.


Date: Friday, December 07, 2018

Time: From 10:00 am To 12:00 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : With fee


Istituto Italiano di Cultura | 496 Huron Street