Carlo Gozzi

A Life in the 18th Century Venetian Theater, an Afterlife in Opera


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About the Book

Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi (1720–1806) is best known for his plays that have famously been adapted into opera librettos. Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, was based on a play by Gozzi. Prokofiev’s The Love of Three Oranges is also based on a Gozzi play. Richard Wagner’s first opera, Die Feen, is based on Gozzi’s La Donna Serpente. Mozart’s The Magic Flute contains many elements that are similar to Gozzi’s plays.
Gozzi is well known for reviving commedia dell’arte, an ancient form of Italian improvisational theater that had fallen out of favor before his time. This is the first full biography in English of the most successful playwright in 18th century Venice.

About the Author(s)

John Louis DiGaetani, an English professor at Hofstra University, is the author of numerous books about opera and theater.

Bibliographic Details

John Louis DiGaetani
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [2000]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9378-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1

1. Childhood in Friuli: a Difficult Family 9
2. Military Career in Yugoslavia and Early Theatrical Interests 27
3. The Move to Venice: Decision for a Literary Career 46
4. Legal Problems—Suing His Mother Over His Inheritance 61
5. The Testicular Club —Early Rhetorical Essay 76
6. Confrontation with Goldoni—A Theatrical War Is Declared 92
7. The Early Fiabe—The Love of Three Oranges and Commedia dell’Arte’s Revival 107
8. The Middle Plays—Developing a Mature Style 120
9. The Late Masterpieces 139
10. The Playwright as Translator 155
11. The Scandal Involving Gratarol—Literature and Politics 171
12. The Not-So-Grand Finale—Gozzi’s Bitter Ending 186

Conclusion 199
Bibliography 205
Index 211

Book Reviews & Awards

“the first full biography in English of the important Italian playwright Gozzi”—Reference & Research Book News.