Related to This Book

Other Sites

Seven Mozart Librettos

A Verse Translation

J. D. McClatchy (Translator, The Yale Review)


"McClatchy's heroic labor is a remarkable achievement. . . . Mozart and Da Ponte will be smiling down on this volume."—Richard Wilbur

A landmark event in the world of music, Mozart's seven major librettos have finally been translated in verse with a sparkling poetic quality that matches the magnificence of the originals. Beginning this epic endeavor with his translation of The Magic Flute, first introduced at the Metropolitan Opera, McClatchy has now completed his translations of Idomeneo, The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte, and La Clemenza di Tito. The result is a brilliantly translated and handsomely designed volume that brings the lively wordplay and drama of the originals to life in a verse that matches the exuberance and lyricism of the original Da Ponte, Schikaneder, Varesco, Mazzola, and Stephanie librettos. With facing-page text and an illuminating introduction to each opera-including a dramatic recap, a history of the opera, and a list of characters-this book is a masterpiece, the likes of which has never been seen in English before.

Book Details

  • Hardcover, Rough Front - Edge: Deckle, Feather, Uncut
  • December 2010
  • ISBN 978-0-393-06609-8
  • 6.6 × 9.6 in / 1184 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Starred Review. Readers familiar with the operas will enjoy seeing their favorite passages retranslated by the sure hand of a great poet who is steeped in love for language, music, and drama.  Highly recommended for all collections; an essential purchase for music libraries.” — Library Journal

“To translate any one of these librettos into a readable prose text would be an accomplishment. To translate all seven into rhyming verse and prose recitative, fearlessly tackling two languages, is a major literary and musical event.” — David Lehman, The Best American Poetry blog

All Subjects