Ferrari, Benedetto, Italian librettist and composer, called “Dalla Tiorba” for his proficiency on the theorbo;b. Reggio Emilia, c. 1603; d. Modena, Oct. 22, 1681. He studied music in Rome, then served as a choirboy at the Collegio Germanico in Rome (1617–18). He subsequently was a musician at the Farnese court in Parma (1619–23). In 1637 he proceeded to Venice, where he wrote the libretto for Manelli’s opera L’Andromeda; it was produced at the Teatro di San Cassiano in 1637, the first Venetian opera performed in a theater open to the public. He then wrote librettos for La Maga fulminata by Manelli (1638), L’inganno d’Amore by Bertali (Regensburg, 1653), La Licasta by Manelli (Parma, 1664), and 4 of his own operas, all produced in Venice: L’Armida (Feb. 1639), II Pastor regio (Jan. 23, 1640), La Ninfa avara (1641), and // Principe giardiniero (Dec. 30, 1643). From 1651 to 1653 he was in Vienna. From 1653 to 1662 he served as court choirmaster in Modena; after a hiatus of employment, he was reinstated in 1674, remaining in this post until his death. In Modena he produced the opera L’Erosilda (1658). Six of Ferrari’s librettos were publ. in Milan in 1644 under the title Poesie drammatiche.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire