Opera Scotland

Francesco Maria Piave Suggest updates

Born Murano, 18 May 1810.

Died Milan, 5 March 1876.

Italian librettist.

Piave's reputation as a librettist rests on his long collaboration with Verdi during a period when, keeping closely to the composer's instructions, he adapted a number of important literary works into serviceable texts. The source authors include Byron (twice) and Shakespeare, as well as Victor Hugo (also twice) and Dumas.

Verdi's operas with words by Piave are: Ernani (Venice 1844), I due Foscari (Rome 1844), Attila (with Solera, Venice 1846), Macbeth (Florence 1847), Il corsaro (Trieste 1848), Stiffelio (Trieste 1850), Rigoletto (Venice 1851), La traviata (Venice 1853), Simon Boccanegra (Venice 1857), Aroldo (Rimini 1857), and La forza del destino (St Petersburg 1862).

For Mercadante he provided La schiava saracena (Milan 1848), and for Pacini Il duca d'Alba (with Peruzzini, Venice 1842), Lorenzino de'Medici (Venice 1845), Allan Cameron (Venice 1848), Don Diego di Mendoza (Venice 1867), and Berta di Vernol (Naples 1867) as well as several pieces that were never performed.

While not generally considered a successful writer of comedy, he did supply the text for the Ricci brothers' delightful comedy Crispino e la comare (Venice 1850).

The Irish composer Michael William Balfe (1807-70) is remembered largely for The Bohemian Girl, but he had a notable career on the continent both as baritone and composer. Piave supplied the libretto for Pittore e Duca (Trieste 1854),

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