Personalities | Carlo Goldoni | Classical Era | Opera
By profession a lawyer in Pisa, Carlo Goldoni became resident poet at several Venetian opera houses. There he devised and specialized in the opera buffa libretto and wrote over 100, using pseudonyms for some of them. Goldoni left Venice for Paris in 1762 and for some years became well known and much admired for his work at the Comédie-Italienne. Goldoni’s libretti had a seminal importance and exercised an influence over several major opera composers, including Mozart, Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848). Goldoni’s influence was felt, too, in the peculiarly Italian genre, the commedia dell’arte, some of whose features found their way into comic opera. To these Goldoni added earthy characters and everyday situations that greatly humanized the genre and made it very popular in Italy. Goldoni himself classified his libretti as drammi giocosi, and was particularly known and appreciated for the opportunities he created for ensemble singing.
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