It is surprising that very little is known about the birth or early life of Italian librettist Andrea Leone Tottola, considering how successful his work was during this lifetime. It is thought that he spent most, if not all, of his life in Naples, where he was engaged by the royal theatres. His earliest work in opera dates to 1802.
Working at the height of the bel canto movement in Italian opera, he collaborated with many notable Italian composers, including the three leaders in bel canto; Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. Many of Tottola's works have remained popular today, including Rossini's Le donna del lago and Bellini's Adelson and Salvini.
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