Gian Carlo Menotti, RIP

Gian Carlo Menotti, the greatest composer of American opera in the 20th century, has died.


born in Italy

age 17, Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia

kept his Italian citizenship but referred to himself as an American composer

most of his 25 operas were written in English

The Medium (1946)
- had a run on Broadway
- 'The Sun Has Fallen'

The Consul (1950)
- won a Pulitzer Prize
- 'Mother's Aria'

Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951)
- Christmas opera for children
- written for NBC's Hallmark Hall of Fame
- highly popular on TV
- inspired by Bosch’s “The Adoration of the Magi” painting
- about the healing of Amahl who offers his crutches as a gift to the baby Jesus after the magi catch the crippled boy's mother trying to steal their gold

The Saint of Bleecker Street (1955)
- another Pulitzer

Other operas:
Help, Help, the Globolinks (1968)
The Last Savage (1963)
Martin’s Lie (1964)
The Most Important Man (1971)
The Egg (1976)
The Trial of the Gypsy (1978)

wrote the play “The Leper” (1970), asking for tolerance toward homosexuality

composer Samuel Barber was his lifelong partner

founded the Festival of Two Worlds in 1958 in Spoleto, Italy
- directed it for about 40 years
- 1977, helped establish Spoleto Festival USA, in Charleston, SC

on her albums, Laura Branigan credited Menotti as her vocal coach!

his influence on American popular culture has been that wide-ranging