Metastasio, Pietro

Pietro Metastasio, Italien poet and librettist, 1698-1782

Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi, better known by his pseudonym of Pietro Metastasio, was an Italian poet and librettist, considered the most important writer of "opera seria" libretti. In rapid succession he wrote "Didone abbandonata", "Catone in Utica", "Ezio", "Alessandro nell' Indie" etc. These dramas were set to music by the chief composers of the day, and performed in the chief towns of Italy. In 1730 Metastasio settled at Vienna in an apartment in the so-called 'Michaelerhaus'. This date marks a new period in his artistic activity. Between the years 1730 and 1740 his finest dramas, including "Adriano in Siria", "Demetrio", "Issipile", were produced for the imperial theatre.