Pseudonym of Emmanuele Conegliano, Venetian adventurer and author. Born 1749, died 1838.
The memoirs of Da Ponte, Memorie (1823-1824), provide a fascinating glimpse into the society of the 18th century, although they are not his main claim to fame.
Though he died in New York City, having emigrated in 1805 to escape debt, he had spent the years 1783-1791 at the Imperial Court at Vienna, where he wrote the three libretti which have made his name famous, for Mozart's Italian operas, Le Nozze di Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Cosi fan tutte (1790).
In his work, Da Ponte perfected the 18th century libretto, continuing the work of Pietro Metastasio with fine dramatic sense and the lightness of rococo style.