Born March 9, 1910, West Chester, Pennsylvania Died January 23, 1981, New York, New York
About Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber, already well-known for his skilful, tonal orchestral writing, had both of his full-length operas premiered by the always conservative Metropolitan Opera; Barber's Antony and Cleopatra was the first piece performed by the Met at their new theater at Lincoln Center.
Barber's first two operas, the Pullitzer Prize-winning Vanessa and the often-overlooked chamber opera A Hand of Bridge had their librettos by Barber's long-term companion, the composer Gian Carlo Menotti. Antony and Cleopatra had a libretto by stage director Franco Zefferelli, which is often blamed in part for its failure; a revised version, reworked by Menotti, premiered in 1975 to somewhat more favorable reviews.
Vanessa, opera in four acts Libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti after a story by Isak Dinesen in Seven Gothic Tales. January 15, 1958, Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York
A Hand Of Bridge, chamber opera in one act Libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti. June 17, 1959, Spoleto, Italy
Antony and Cleopatra, opera in three acts Libretto by Franco Zeffirelli after the play by William Shakespeare. September 16, 1966, Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York