Past Event

Lorenzo Da Ponte and the Birth of Italian Opera in New York

October 15, 2018
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
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Celebrating the first contemporary performance of Lorenzo Da Ponte’s The Musical Bee (L’ape musicale) with a series of talks. The schedule is below. 

Da Ponte’s final libretto and the first Italian opera conceived and staged in the United States, returns to New York 188 years after its debut – thanks to the invitation extended by Columbia University to Claudio Orazi, superintendent of the Fondazione Teatro Lirico di Cagliari. 

This one-day symposium covers a wide range of research on the early days of European opera in the U.S. 

Organizers: Francesco Zimei (Istituto Abruzzese di Storia Musicale, L’Aquila - Teramo); Giuseppe Gerbino (Department of Music, Columbia University).
Co-sponsors: Columbia University's Division of Humanities in the Arts & Sciences; Department of Music; Department of Italian 

Click here to read more about the book of the collected talks from this event.

Concert evenings on October 15 & 17,
at 7:30 pm in the Rotunda of Columbia's Low Library:
Performances of Lorenzo Da Ponte's
The Musical Bee (L’ape musicale) 
by the Teatro Lirico of the city of Cagliari.

Free and open to the public; tickets here.

9:30 am: Coffee & Registration

Opening Remarks:

Director, Italian Academy, Columbia University

Director, Italian Cultural Institute of New York

Department of Music, Columbia University

Morning Session (10:15am-12:30pm)

BARBARA FAEDDA (10:15am-10:35am)
Columbia University: Lorenzo Da Ponte and the American Cultural Élite

ELAINE SISMAN (10:35am-10:55am)
Columbia University: Don Giovanni’s Trip to the New World

Q&A (11:00am-11:15am)

Coffee Break (11:15am-11:30am)

MOLLY NELSON-HABER (11:30am-11:50am)
Independent scholar: “A Bold and Most Costly Experiment”: Manuel García’s Italian Opera Enterprise in New York (1825-1826)

FRANCESCO ZIMEI (11:50am-12:10pm)
Istituto Abruzzese di Storia Musicale, L’Aquila - Teramo: Reconstructing Da Ponte’s L’ape musicale

Q&A (12:15pm-12:30pm)

Break (12:30pm-1:30pm)

Afternoon Session (1:30pm-3:45pm)

KAREN AHLQUIST (1:30pm-1:50pm)
George Washington University: Languages of Italian Opera in 19th-century New York

FRANCO SCIANNAMEO (1:50pm-2:10pm)
Carnegie Mellon University: Phil Trajetta and the First “Italian” Opera in New York: Harlequin’s Triumph in War and Love 

Q&A (2:15pm-2:30pm)

Coffee Break (2:30pm-2:45pm)

DePaul University: Another Italian in New York: Pietro Maroncelli

Rowan University: From the Italian Opera House to the Met

Q&A (3:30pm-3:45pm)

Closing Remarks

General Manager of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari: An Invitation to the Opera


Image above: "Park Theatre, New York," ca. 1840. Thomas Wakeman (1812-1878) / Museum of the City of New York. 29.100.837A. [The first NY theatre venue for the opera, in 1830.]