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Prima la musica e poi le parole (First the music and then the words) is an opera in one act by Antonio Salieri to a libretto by Giovanni Battista Casti. The work was first performed on 7 February 1786 in Vienna, following a commission by the Emperor Joseph II. The opera (more specifically, a divertimento teatrale) was first performed at one end of the orangery of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna by an Italian troupe; simultaneously, Mozart's Der Schauspieldirektor was staged at the other end.

The title of the opera is the theme of Richard Strauss's opera Capriccio which debates the relative importance of music and drama in opera.

Kathryn Cavanaugh - conductor/producer
CMD Grand Opera Company of Venice

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