Born on July 7, 1911; he was the sixth out of ten children. His father was a businessman and his mother was a musician.
February 1, 2007 in Monaco
Also Known As:
He was a composer, librettist and stage director. He established the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy which honors works from Europe and America. Menotti sometimes appeared on stage playing uncredited bit parts. For example, in "The Hero" he played the part of an ice-cream vendor.
Type of Compositions:
Menotti's mom, Ines, was a huge influence on him. At the age of 4 he was already composing songs and at 11 years old had successfully written an opera titled "The Death of Pierrot." He entered Milan's Verdi Conservatory in 1923 and then moved to the United States where he continued his studies at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music. He studied under Rosario Scalero.
Some of his notable works are "Amelia Goes to the Ball" (1937), "The Old Maid and the Thief," "Sebastian" (1944), "Errand into the Maze," "The Medium," "The Telephone," "The Consul" (1954 - won the Pulitzer Prize, won the New York Drama Critics Circle award for best musical play), "Amahl and the Night Visitors" (1951), "Goya" (1986), "The Singing Child" (1993), "Jacob's Prayer" (1997), "The Saint of Bleeker Street" (1954), "Maria Golovin" (1958), "The Death of Orpheus" and "The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore."
Menotti received the lifetime achievement in the arts award from Kennedy Center in 1984. Aside from the opera "The Death of Pierrot," Menotti wrote another opera, "The Little Mermaid," when he was just 11 years old. He wrote six operas for children - "Amahl, The Boy who Grew too Fast," "A Bride From Pluto," "Chip and his Dog," "Help! Help! the Globolinks," and "The Egg."
- First opera for radio - "The Old Maid and the Thief"
- First opera written for television - "Amahl and the Night Visitors"
- First opera by a non-Frenchman commissioned by the Paris Opera - "Le dernier sauvage"
Listen to "Don't Cry Mother Dear" from Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" courtesy of YouTube.