Vincenzo Grimani
Vincenzo Grimani was an Italian cardinal, diplomat, and opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...


Grimani was born either in Venice or Mantua.
He is best remembered for having supplied the libretto for George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

's early operatic success Agrippina
Agrippina (opera)
Agrippina is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel, from a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani. Composed for the Venice Carnevale season, the opera tells the story of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, as she plots the downfall of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the installation of...

, though he also supplied libretti for Elmiro re di Corinto, by Carlo Pallavicino
Carlo Pallavicino
Carlo Pallavicino was an Italian composer.Pallavicino was born at Salò, Italy. From 1666 to 1673, he worked at the Dresden court, from 1674 to 1685, at the Ospedale degli Incurabili in Venice and further in Dresden...

, and Orazio by G. F. Tosi. All the operas were produced at the Teatro S Giovanni Grisostomo, which he owned, while the remainder of his family owned several other Venetian opera houses.

Politically he was allied to the Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 cause, and this alliance and his importance diplomatically to the Habsburgs led to him being made a cardinal in 1697. In 1708, he further received the honour of viceroyalty at Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, where he died.

His libretti are markedly different from the later moralizing tone of Metastasio
Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi, better known by his pseudonym of Metastasio, was an Italian poet and librettist, considered the most important writer of opera seria libretti.-Early life:...

 and Apostolo Zeno
Apostolo Zeno
Apostolo Zeno was a Venetian poet, librettist, journalist, and man of letters.-Early life:Apostolo Zeno was born of Cretan Greek descent in Venice in 1669...

, whose ideas came to dictate opera seria
Opera seria
Opera seria is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and "serious" style of Italian opera that predominated in Europe from the 1710s to c. 1770...

. His libretto for Agrippina is marked out by its amorality and the domination of aria over recitative. His portrayal of the Emperor Claudius has been perceived as an oblique attack on the character of Pope Clement XI
Pope Clement XI
Pope Clement XI , born Giovanni Francesco Albani, was Pope from 1700 until his death in 1721.-Early life:...

. Grimani frequently clashed with Clement in the course of protecting the interests of the Habsburgs at the Vatican.
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