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(pseudonym of Pietro Trapassi). Born Jan. 3, 1698, in Rome; died Apr. 12, 1782, in Vienna. Italian poet and opera librettist.
In 1730, Metastasio became court poet of Vienna. His opera libretti are classical examples of opera seria. Almost all 18th-century composers who wrote operas on historical and mytho-logical themes—as well as composers of pastorals, serenades, and cantatas—used his texts, which were noted for their lofty imagery, subtle depiction of the lyrical states of the heroes, poetic refinement of language, and compositional balance.
Among Metastasio’s 27 opera libretti (dramma per musica) that were repeatedly set to music were Didone abbandonata (1724), Siroe (1726), Ezio (1728), Semiramide riconosciuta (1729), Alessandro neWIndie (1729), Artaserse (1730), Demetrio (1731), Demofoonte (1733), La clemenza di Tito (1734), Giro riconosciuto (1736), Temistocle (1736) Antigone (1743), and I! re pastore (1751).
REFERENCESStendhal. “Zhizneopisaniia Gaidna, Motsarta i Metastazio.” Sobr. soch., vol. 8. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from French.)
Russo, L. Metastasio. Ban, 1921.