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Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749–1838) wrote the words for 28 operas by 11 composers, including three of Mozart's greatest - Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte. But this librettist's own life was scandalous enough to make an opera in its own right.
He died on 17 August 1838 in New York. An enormous funeral was held in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Da Ponte is immortalised by his works with Mozart, in which his sharp characterization, humour and satire, brought out all of the composer's strengths.
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