Italian librettist and theatre manager Giovanni Faustini (1615–51) was one of the leading librettists of the early 17th century. With composer Francesco Cavalli he played a key role in the development of popular opera in Venice. Their collaborations include La Calisto and L’Ormindo.
Faustini wrote 14 librettos between 1642 and 1651, most of which were set by Cavalli. They were unusual for their time in that many were entirely original, rather than taking inspiration from ancient history or mythology. Key characteristics of his work include exotic settings and highly intricate plots that concern two lovers.
At his early death Faustini left five unfinished librettos, four of which were completed by his brother Marco. In addition to his work as a librettist, Faustini was active as an impresario in several theatres around Venice.
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Our quick guide to Cavalli’s ingenious comedy, staged in the beautiful candlelit setting of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe.