Andrea Maffei

Last updated
Andrea Maffei Andrea Maffei.jpg
Andrea Maffei

Andrea Maffei (1798 – 1885) was an Italian poet, translator and librettist. He was born in Molina di Ledro, Trentino. A follower of Vincenzo Monti, he formed part of the 19th-century Italian classicist literary culture. Gaining laurea in jurisprudence, he moved for some years to Verona, then to Venice and finally to Milan, where in 1831 he married contessa Clara Spinelli. They separated by mutual consent on 15 June 1846.

Molina di Ledro Frazione in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy

Molina di Ledro was a comune (municipality) in Trentino in the Italian region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. On January 1, 2010 it merged in the new municipality of Ledro. It is the most populated frazione of the municipality. It is located about 35 km southwest of Trento.

Trentino Autonomous province of Italy

Trentino, officially the Autonomous Province of Trento, is an autonomous province of Italy, in the country's far north. Trento and South Tyrol constitute the region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, an autonomous region under the constitution. The province is divided into 177 comuni (municipalities). Its capital is the city of Trento. The province covers an area of more than 6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi), with a total population of about 540,000. Trentino is renowned for its mountains, such as the Dolomites, which are part of the Alps.

Vincenzo Monti Italian writer

Vincenzo Monti was an Italian poet, playwright, translator, and scholar.


As well as Verdi, Maffei also built up close relationships with others in the Italian cultural scene of the time, including Vincenzo Monti, Antonio Rosmini, Gino Capponi, Mario Rapisardi, Carlo Tenca, the painter Francesco Hayez, and the sculptors Vincenzo Vela and Giovanni Duprè. Key cultural figures from the rest of Europe also passed through the lounge of his house in Milan, including Liszt and Stendhal. In 1879 Andrea Maffei was made a senator of the Kingdom of Italy and participated in Italian political life. In the mid-19th century he frequently lived at Riva del Garda, where he organised his rich art collection and where, in 1935, the town's Liceo classico was named after him.

Antonio Rosmini Italian Roman Catholic priest and philosopher

Blessed Antonio Francesco Davide Ambrogio Rosmini-Serbati was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and philosopher. He founded the Rosminians, officially the Institute of Charity or Societas a charitate nuncupata, pioneered the concept of social justice, and was a key figure in Italian Liberal Catholicism. Alessandro Manzoni considered Rosmini the only contemporary Italian author worth reading.

Gino Capponi Italian politician, historian and writer

Marquis Gino Capponi was an Italian statesman and historian of a Liberal Catholic bent.

Mario Rapisardi Italian poet

Mario Rapisardi was an Italian poet, supporter of Risorgimento and member of the Scapigliatura.

He died in Milan in 1885.

Translator and poet

Skilled in foreign languages, he translated several works of English and German literature into Italian, particularly the plays of Schiller, Shakespeare's Othello and The Tempest , many works of Goethe (including Faust ) and John Milton's Paradise Lost . In his translations he sought to adapt the author's original thought to that of the Italian literary public.

German literature literature written in the German language

German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German parts of Switzerland and Belgium, Liechtenstein, South Tyrol in Italy and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there are some currents of literature influenced to a greater or lesser degree by dialects.

<i>Othello</i> play by Shakespeare

Othello is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603. It is based on the story Un Capitano Moro by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The story revolves around its two central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army and his unfaithful ensign, Iago. Given its varied and enduring themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and repentance, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatre alike, and has been the source for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.

<i>The Tempest</i> play by William Shakespeare

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, probably written in 1610–1611, and thought to be one of the last plays that Shakespeare wrote alone. After the first scene, which takes place on a ship at sea during a tempest, the rest of the story is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, a complex and contradictory character, lives with his daughter Miranda, and his two servants — Caliban, a savage monster figure, and Ariel, an airy spirit. The play contains music and songs that evoke the spirit of enchantment on the island. It explores many themes including magic, betrayal, revenge, and family. In act four, a wedding masque serves as a play-within-the play, and contributes spectacle, allegory, and elevated language. Though The Tempest is listed in the First Folio as the first of Shakespeare’s comedies, it deals with both tragic and comic themes, and modern criticism has created a category of romance for this and others of Shakespeare’s late plays. The Tempest has been subjected to varied interpretations—from those that see it as a fable of art and creation, with Prospero representing Shakespeare, and Prospero’s renunciation of magic signaling Shakespeare's farewell to the stage, to interpretations that consider it an allegory of European man colonizing foreign lands.

Not only a translator, he was also a poet and Romanticist. For Giuseppe Verdi he wrote the famous libretto for I masnadieri , drawn from Schiller, and re-wrote some verses from Francesco Maria Piave's libretto for Macbeth . He was also a librettist for Pietro Mascagni, writing the texts for his Il Re a Napoli in Cremona (1885) and Guglielmo Ratcliff (1895, from Heinrich Heine's 1822 play William Ratcliff).

Romanticism period of artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that started in 18th century Europe

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.

Giuseppe Verdi 19th-century Italian opera composer

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.

<i>I masnadieri</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

I masnadieri is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Andrea Maffei, based on the play Die Räuber by Friedrich von Schiller. As Verdi became more successful in Italy, he began to receive offers from other opera houses outside the country. The London impresario Benjamin Lumley had presented Ernani in 1845 and, as a result of its success, commissioned an opera from the composer which became I masnadieri. It was given its first performance at Her Majesty's Theatre on 22 July 1847 with Verdi conducting the first two performances.



  • Idilli di Gessner (1821)

Thomas Moore

  • Gli amori degli angeli (The loves of angels, 1836)
  • Canti orientali (Oriental poems, 1836)
  • Gli amori degli angioli (The loves of angels, 1839)


  • Caino (1852)
  • Cielo e terra (1853)
  • Parisina (1853)
  • Misteri e novelle (Mysteries and novels, 1868)


  • Arminio e Dorotea (1864)
  • Fausto (1866)


  • La sposa di Messina (1827)
  • Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart, 1829)
  • La vergine d'Orleans (The Maid of Orléans, 1830)
  • Guglielmo Tell (William Tell, 1835)
  • Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart, 1835)
  • Guglielmo Tell (William Tell, 1844)
  • Cabala ed amore (1852)
  • La congiura del Fiesco (1853)
  • Turandot (1863) [1]

Other works

  • Le satire e le epistole (after 1853)
  • Il paradiso perduto ( Paradise Lost , by Milton, 1857)
  • Struensee (1863)
  • Guglielmo Ratcliff (by Heinrich Heine, 1875)
  • L'ode a Pirra (by Horace, c. 1880)
  • Poeti tedeschi (German poets, 1901)
<i>Paradise Lost</i> Epic poem by John Milton, concerning the biblical story of the Fall of Man

Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification. It is considered by critics to be Milton's major work, and it helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.

John Milton 17th-century English poet and civil servant

John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.

Heinrich Heine German poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic

Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was a German-Jewish poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside of Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder by composers such as Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. Heine's later verse and prose are distinguished by their satirical wit and irony. He is considered part of the Young Germany movement. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities—which, however, only added to his fame. He spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.

Original works

  • La preghiera (1829)
  • Studi poetici (1831)
  • Dal Benaco (1854)
  • Poesie varie (1859)
  • Arte, affetti, fantasie (1864)
  • E' morto il re! (1878)
  • Liriche (1878)
  • Affetti (1885)
  • Ghirlanda per una sposa (1886)

Opera libretti

Related Research Articles

Pietro Mascagni Italian composer known for operas

Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni was an Italian composer best known for his operas, such as his 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria Rusticana which caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music. While it was often held that Mascagni, like Ruggiero Leoncavallo, was a "one-opera man" who could never repeat his first success, L'amico Fritz and Iris have remained in the repertoire in Europe since their premieres. Mascagni said that at one point, Iris was performed in Italy more often than Cavalleria.

<i>Maria Stuarda</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Maria Stuarda is a tragic opera, in two acts, by Gaetano Donizetti, to a libretto by Giuseppe Bardari, based on Andrea Maffei's translation of Friedrich Schiller's 1800 play Maria Stuart.

Felice Romani Italian writer

Felice Romani was an Italian poet and scholar of literature and mythology who wrote many librettos for the opera composers Donizetti and Bellini. Romani was considered the finest Italian librettist between Metastasio and Boito.

A coloratura soprano is a type of operatic soprano voice that specializes in music that is distinguished by agile runs, leaps and trills.

Piero Cappuccilli Operatic baritone

Piero Cappuccilli was an Italian operatic baritone. Best known for his interpretations of Verdi roles, he was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian baritones of the second half of the 20th century. He was enormously admired within the field of opera for his rich and abundant voice, fine vocal technique and exceptional breath control. In the great Italian tradition he fused words and music into elegant phrases. He focused on Italian repertory, particularly the operas of Verdi, singing 17 major roles.

Salvadore Cammarano Italian librettist and playwright

Salvadore Cammarano was a prolific Italian librettist and playwright perhaps best known for writing the text of Lucia di Lammermoor (1835) for Gaetano Donizetti.

Daniela Dessì Italian opera singer

Daniela Dessì was an Italian operatic soprano, born in Genoa.

Giuseppe Patanè was an Italian opera conductor.

<i>Guglielmo Ratcliff</i> opera by Pietro Mascagni

Guglielmo Ratcliff is a tragic opera in four acts by Pietro Mascagni to an Italian libretto by Andrea Maffei, translated from the German play Wilhelm Ratcliff (1822) by Heinrich Heine. Mascagni had substantially finished the composition of Ratcliff before the phenomenal success of his first opera, Cavalleria rusticana.

Giuseppe Taddei Italian opera singer

Giuseppe Taddei was an Italian lyric baritone, who performed mostly the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi.

Giorgio Zancanaro is an Italian baritone, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, especially Verdi.

Carlo Galeffi was a leading Italian baritone, particularly associated with the operatic works of Giuseppe Verdi and the various verismo composers.

<i>Turandot</i> (Busoni) opera by Ferruccio Busoni

Turandot(BV 273) is a 1917 opera with spoken dialogue and in two acts by Ferruccio Busoni. Busoni prepared his own libretto, in German, based on the play by Count Carlo Gozzi. The music for Busoni's opera is based on the incidental music, and the associated Turandot Suite, which Busoni had written in 1905 for a production of Gozzi's play. The opera is often performed as part of a double bill with Busoni's earlier one-act opera Arlecchino.

Clara Maffei Italian salon holder

Elena Clara Antonia Carrara Spinelli was an Italian woman of letters and backer of the Risorgimento, usually known by her married name of countess Clara Maffei or Chiarina Maffei.

Carlo Colombara Italian opera singer

Carlo Colombara is an Italian operatic bass. He has sung leading roles in many major opera houses including Teatro alla Scala ; the Vienna State Opera ; the Real Teatro di San Carlo ; the Arena di Verona ; the Royal Opera House, and The Metropolitan Opera.

Antonino Fogliani Italian conductor

Antonino Fogliani is an Italian conductor.

Giovanni Meoni Italian operatic baritone

Giovanni Meoni is an Italian operatic baritone.

George Andguladze

George Andguladze is a Georgian operatic bass.

Fabio Ceresa is an Italian opera director and librettist.


  1. Turandot, fola tragicomica di Carlo Gozzi. Imitate da Federico Schiller e tradotte dal cav. Andrea Maffei.