Personalities | Count Nicolo Minato | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
c. 1627–98, Italian
Poet and librettist Count Nicolo Minato wrote 11 texts for the Venetian opera houses, including Cavalli’s Pompeo Magna (‘Pompey the Great’, 1666). In 1669, the Emperor of Austria, Leopold I, appointed Minato his court poet, and some very exciting opportunities opened up for the count. At that time, the court composer was Antonio Draghi (c. 1634–1700). Minato joined forces with Draghi to produce no fewer than 170 libretti. Another member of the team was the designer Ludovico Burnacini, who staged the Draghi-Minato operas. As he had already demonstrated in Venice, Minato had a particular fondness for historical subjects, and he produced Gundeberga (1672), one of the earliest libretti, based on a story from German history. Other libretti were set in the ancient world – Temistocle in Persia (‘Themistocles in Persia’, 1681) in ancient Greece, and Sciopione preservatore di Roma (‘Scipio, Saviour of Rome’, 1690) in ancient Rome.
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