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Friday
Feb022018

Poetic Drama and Marco Coltellini

Named "Theatrical Poet" in Vienna in 1764 and "Imperial Poet" at the court of St. Petersburg in 1772, Marco Coltellini provided libretti for Traetta, Gluck, Salieri and Mozart, in addition to his collaboration with J.A. Hasse on Piramo e Tisbe. 

Marco Coltellini (1724-1777) was born in Montepulciano and died in St. Petersburg. Active throughout the 18th century in the world of Opera, he was influenced by the celebrated dramatic poet Metastasio, whose own style set the tone for many operas of the period.  Coltellini wrote librettos for Traetta, Gluck, Salieri, and Mozart among many others. In his own writing he developed past his predecessor to incorporate French influences into the prevailing Italianate dramaturgical style of opera.  

In his collaboration with Johann Adolf Hasse they based their opera Piramo e Tisbe on one of the most popular tales from Ovid with appears in Book IV of his narrative poem Metamophoses.  At the private palace premiere of Piramo e Tisbe, the multi-talented librettist sang the role of “Il Padre.”  After his death, in 1775 a revised version of the libretto successfully appeared in London at The King’s Theatre in the Haymarket with music by Venanzio Rauzzini.