Personalities | Pietro Pariati | Late Baroque | Opera
Pariati was born in Reggio Emilia, and was secretary to the Duke of Modena. He spent time in Madrid, wrote works for Barcelona and spent three years in an Italian prison. He lived in Venice for 15 years, until he was appointed a court poet at Vienna in 1714. While in Venice he worked with Zeno on several libretti, specialized in adapting recent tragedies into opera libretti and updated old seventeenth-century libretti. He gained celebrity for writing comic scenes and intermezzi, and drew on influences such as Molière and Cervantes.
Pariati wrote texts for 13 oratorios and 14 theatrical dramas for the imperial family in Vienna, the most famous of which was Costanza e Fortezza, set to music by Fux (1723). Pariati developed a new style of comic fantasy in his libretti, and used his texts as opportunities to provoke satire, not least against conventional opera seria.
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