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Born Dec. 11, 1668, in Venice; died there Nov. 11, 1750. Italian librettist and playwright.
From 1718 to 1729, Zeno was court poet and historiographer in Vienna. After 1729 he lived in Venice, where he joined a circle of Enlightenment classicists. He wrote many operatic texts (several in collaboration with P. Pariati) and also several oratorio texts. He raised the literary and intellectual level of the libretto of Italian opera and applied classicist principles to operatic dramaturgy (P. Metastasio continued and completed the reform begun by Zeno). Among his librettos are Lucio Vero, Merope, Ifigenia in Aulide, and Cajo Fabrizio. Many composers of the 18th century, including G. F. Handel, A. Scarlatti, D. Scarlatti, B. Galuppi, and F. Araia, wrote operas on Zeno’s texts. Collections of his librettos were published from time to time in the 18th century.
REFERENCESMokul’skii, S. Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.
Pistorelli, L. I melodrammi di Apostolo Zeno. Padua, 1894.
Fehr, M. Apostolo Zeno und seine Reform des Operntextes. Zurich, 1912.