Personalities | Salvadore Cammarano | Early Romantic | Opera
Salvadore Cammarano wrote several plays before producing his first libretto in 1834. This so impressed the management at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples that Cammarano was appointed house poet in 1835. That same year, he wrote the libretto for Lucia di Lammermoor, composed by his friend Gaetano Donizetti. Cammarano and Donizetti worked on many more operas together, notably Roberto Devereux, ossia Il Conte d’Essex. In 1845, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) asked Cammarano for a libretto for Alzira, a two-act opera based on a tragedy by Voltaire. This, unfortunately, was one of Verdi’s – and Cammarano’s – few failures. Disappointment did not deter Verdi from again working with Cammarano, who had an unusual talent for writing libretti acceptable to everyone – audience, composer, even the censor. Cammarano wrote the text for Verdi’s Luisa Miller (1849) and Il trovatore but died six months before the latter premiered in Rome on 19 January 1853.
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