"mozart & ME"
The Low-down on Lorenzo Da Ponte.
Mozart's Librettist and Operas forgotten GENIUS.
A Festival of Facts, Fiction and Failure
Bass and Pianist
Australian Damian Whiteley, formerly of Zurich Opera and featured bass with Pinchgut Opera in Sydney plays the 262 year old librettist and scoundrel, Lorenzo Da Ponte.
262 years old?
Da Ponte lived off his wits to be 89, so with his Bass Instinct, rather than make death a career move, he moved to Hollywood where he is now making an operatic road movie about his life.
And what a life!
If it was an opera plot, no one would believe it.
A Jew who converted to Christianity, became a priest, was defrocked, played the violin in a Venice brothel and was a friend of Casanova, Da Ponte moved from country to country around Europe (often not a moment too soon) and wrote the librettos for Mozarts Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte.
He had a penchant for poetry and eighteen year old girls.
He collaborated with Salieri and wrote the screenplay of his life, only to have Hollywood choose Peter Shaffers Mozart pic, Amadeus.
He made and lost a fortune as an opera impresario in London.
He devised the first Juke-box Opera.
He escaped creditors to America where he became the only person in history to have lost money selling alcohol.
He became the first Professor of Italian in America for which he was paid not a cent and never had a single student.
He founded a New York boarding school for eighteen year old girls advertising that every attention would be paid to the morals of those entrusted to his care and attention was certainly paid!
As Opera's Liberace, he played a sell-out season in Las Vegas.
He is currently directing the Hollywood movie, BASS INSTINCT, the unedited story of his life.
What is fact and what is fiction?
Finding out is the surprise in store for audiences when Damian Whiteley plays on his grand piano as well as on his bass instincts and sings an amazing catalogue of Mozart/Da Ponte hits and many others ( including Salieri, Martini, Martin y Soler, Paisiello) - as the raunchy old rogue bitches on and tells all.
Its X-rated opera and Entertainment with a capital E!