Pietro Metastasio

1698 (Rome) – 1782 (Vienna)

A renowned poet, and one of the most significant librettists in the history of opera. Porpora first set Metastasio’s words to music, the castrato Farinelli sung them, and the acclaim was so great that Metastasio gave up his work as a lawyer. He soon met Pergolesi, Scarlatti and Durante, all of whom also went on to set his plays to music. He met da Ponte in Vienna, and helped get him appointed as official poet to the Italian Theatre there. The young Haydn, lodging in the same house, was another Vienna acquaintance, as was Salieri.