Biography of Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782)

Italian librettist and poet. He/She changed his original name, Pietro Antonio Doménico Bonaventura Trapassi, by its Greek translation, moved by his great love for the classical theater. He/She made his debut in the literary production for opera with the cantata Gli Orti Esperidi (1721), one by ugly. His musical training was influenced by a major one of the most famous singers of his time, Marianna Benti; He/She also learned how much beside the Neapolitan Porpora. He/She traveled throughout Europe requested and feted by cuts and opera companies. In 1730 he/she settled in Vienna as a poet of the Court, a position he/she did not abandon until his death.

Its dramas were taken to the opera on hundreds of occasions by the most important musicians of the 18th century. Alessandro ne'll Indie (1729) was used on 68 occasions from 1729 to 1829, and you can find versions of Handel and Johan Christian Bach; The La clemenza di Tito (1734), on 41 occasions, with versions of Mozart; and Artaserse (1730), on 80 occasions from 1730-1795. Hasse and Jommelli, than musicaron practically all his works (27, as well as eight oratorios and other forty pieces), were its most loyal composers.

With his works, or plagiarism of his works, fully determined the melodrama. Thanks to its musical and poetic qualities, Metastasio texts were fundamental to the renewal of the opera, especially Italian opera, in the 18th century. Restored the choirs within the role they had in the Greek Theatre, mitigated the preponderance of the soloists, introduced the recitative accompanied and insisted much on the expressive importance of the Orchestra. His works, also abandoned the five acts by three and limited the number of characters to six. He/She was the favourite poet of the early romantics.


HONEGGER, Marc: Dictionary of music. Second Edition, Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1993.

History of classical music, planet, 1983.

MICHELS, Ulrich: Atlas of music, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1992.

SOPENA IBANEZ, Federico: History of music, Epesa, 1974.