Chapters (Layout Features)

Lorenzo Da Ponte: Cultural Pioneer in New York

Freedberg, David A.

It was a clear, cold day in November. The Lower East Side was looking attractive in the crisp autumn light. Gentrification had not yet begun - at least not in any serious way. I found myself at the gate of an overgrown community garden which (as I suddenly remembered) a sister-in-law of mine had helped establish in the hopeful days of the early 1970s. Two women and a man were warming themselves over a brazier, a Dickensian scene that even then seemed rather out of place in New York. The group was friendly and loquacious when another, older man appeared from the shrubs in back. Bluntly, he asked me whether I knew where I was. I began mumbling an answer when he interrupted. Pointing to what I then recognized as fragments of two old tombstones, he asked whether I realized that a famous figure in the history of opera had been buried there. He had forgotten his name, he said; and as he was struggling to recover it, the name came back to me, like a lost memory. He was referencing to Lorenzo Da Ponte.


Also Published In

Lorenzo da Ponte: Opera and Enlightenment in Late 18th Century Vienna

More About This Work

Academic Units
Art History and Archaeology
Published Here
July 30, 2010