Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793) is widely recognized as one of Italy's finest playwrights, but his production for the operatic theatre is much less well known. While musicologists have established the importance of Goldoni's innovations in the form of the comic libretto, literary scholars have tended to see the
drammi giocosi as at best a pale reflection of the plays, and at worst a distortion of the «real» Goldoni.
Goldoni as Librettist, Emery traces the complex web of relationships between plays and libretti, illustrating the ways in which the author used his operas to prepare for the comedies, or to experiment with themes to which the plays were closed. This reading of Goldoni's operatic texts not only confirms their status as a form of literary activity, but also allows us to more fully understand Goldoni's development as a playwright.