Notes of elegance

Lorenzo Da Ponte, sublime and universal expression of a refined art

The lineage of the Da Ponte family is a glorious one, in constant pursuit of excellence and art. The art of distillation and also art in the meaning of music, acting and stage lights which finds its ultimate sublime expression in an emblematic figure, Lorenzo Da Ponte. The pseudonym of Emanuele Conegliano (Ceneda 1749 - New York 1838), he was a poet and man of letters, known above all as librettist of three great operas by Mozart: “The Marriage of Figaro” (1786), based on the play by Beaumarchais, “Don Giovanni” (1787), to whose libretto Giacomo Casanova also made a contribution, and “Così Fan Tutte” (1790). After having been forced to leave Vienna and London he arrived in New York where he started out by teaching Italian literature at King’s College (today’s Columbia University). He also amused himself with distillation with university students and an Italian oenologist. When almost eighty years old he published his memoirs in three volumes and became a citizen of the United States of America. Considered an illustrious figure, in 1838 Lorenzo Da Ponte was given a state funeral, a privilege of the few.

Stage echo

From teathre to cinema: art has always been the family's passion

For the Fabris family fostering the arts is synonymous with deep admiration for everything which succeeds in thrilling the soul. It is also the clear manifestation of bringing added value to a town such as Conegliano, popular, now as then, thanks to the arts. Piero Fabris, descendent of a noble lineage from the Cadore region and married to Bruna Da Ponte (daughter of Andrea), fell in love with the theatre and cinema, after having seen in 1930 “The Song of Love”, the film directed by Gennaro Righelli. The awareness of the artistic, cultural and financial potential of the new art was immediate to the extent that the film work of the family began that very year, culminating in the multiplex cinema dedicated to the director Georges Méliès. At the same time the Fabris family also managed their own theatre, the Accademia, built in ten years and inaugurated on 5 September 1869, one of the town’s architectural glories and also a centre of drama of prime magnitude in north-eastern Italy. Since 1946 the work in cinema has been joined by social theatre following a string of successes, also heightened by the presence of major show business personalities who have chosen to work at the theatre in Conegliano. Thus, for the Da Ponte family, art is an unquestionable lead player on the stage and in the actual company where exclusive excellence is distilled.