What a wonderful book! This amazing 'homo universalis' who straddled geographies,cultures and religions, left impressive legacies both in Europe and in America, where his library was the kernel for the Columbia library. Most importantly, his turbulent real life, became his inspiration for the libretti of the 3'big' Mozart operas. What I now understand is that without his unique writing, Mozart, himself could not have made the jump for his three masterpieces, and that Da Ponte's words conditioned the music. The author admirably recounts the meandering life of da Ponte as well as the historical and cultural context of each of the places where he lived. An additional bonus for me: the description of life in Vienna, a city i know thoroughly, transformed my appreciation of each of the streets and buildings!
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