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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.
Although he was a Catholic priest, Da Ponte took a mistress with whom he had two children. He was charged with 'public concubinage' and 'abduction of a respectable woman'. It was alleged in court that he had been living in a brothel and organizing the entertainments there. He was found guilty and banished from Venice for 15 years.
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