Fabrizio Funari | The librettist2020-03-24T10:55:49+00:00


Fabrizio Funari was born in Rome, Italy, in 1991. His long-term passion for music and lyricism began at the age of thirteen with the songwriting and recording of two single EPs. From a young age, he has always been interested in theatre and opera: first as an acting and directing student and later as a lyricist and playwright. Fascinated by the norms that govern communication, he graduated in Linguistics and Oriental Languages, focusing on the philosophy of language. Polyglot, he continued his academic and professional career in London, Beijing, Madrid and Seville by writing librettos and plays in English, Spanish and Italian and collaborating with established and emerging composers such as Germán Alonso, Niño de Elche, Martin Gaughan, Kieron Smith and Marco Benetti and with international festivals such as the Venice Biennale.          

His creative engagement with contemporary opera stems from his long-term passion for ancient and postmodern literature and philosophy as well as his interest in queer theory and contemporary art to describe non-normative narratives and identities. For his line of work, he adopted a queering approach which is to be understood in its broader academic terms (i.e. the study of literature, discourse and other social and cultural areas from a non-normative perspective including social, economic, political and cultural issues and identities). Also anti-prescriptive, his writing reflects hismodus cogitandi as he restructures and reinvents its grammar, syntax, morphology and, specifically, phonetics.

Echoing Robert Bloom’s 1930 commentary on W. H. Auden’s writing, his language reveals a sense of urgency and extremity; it has time only for the most important words. Germinated in a post-capitalistic society, his work – influenced by postmodernism and the théâtre de l’absurde – is a mixture of neurotic estrangement and joie de vivrea phantasmagoric use of the language aimed at exposing the failure of communication – and understanding in contemporary society that leaves people alienated, unquestioning and conformist.

His librettos are permeated withthe music of György Ligeti, Luciano Berio and Francis Poulenc as well as the work of Michel de Ghelderode, Allen Ginsberg, Arrigo Boito, W. H. Auden, Kostantinos Kavafis, Lorenzo da Ponte, Reinaldo Arenas, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, W. B. Yeats, Tristan Tzara, Jean Cocteau, the Chinese Misty Poets and Federico García Lorca.     

His work The Sins of the Cities of the Plain (commissioned by the Instituto de las Artes y Culturas de Sevilla and Fundación BBVA) is the first dramaturgical and melodramatic text in history to be written entirely in Polari, a crypto-language adopted by the fin de siècle homosexual community in the British metropolises (especially London) and progressively vanished after the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1967. 


  1. Librettos should describe non-normative narratives and identities. This queering approach should be understood purely in its broader academic terms (i.e. the study of literature, discourse and other social and cultural areas from a non-normative perspective including social, economic, political and cultural issues and identities).
  2. The librettist should consider the collective imaginary solely as an aesthetic means rather than a digestible end.
  3. Librettos should reflect all contemporaneity and should not be elitist.
  4. Librettos should deploy a certain degree of symbolism yet hermeticism must be avoided.
  5. Librettos should be ambiguous as they portray reality and all reality is ambiguous.
  6. Similar to reality, librettos have no beginning or end.
  7. The librettist should defy normative language and be anti-prescriptive.
  8. Opera should be considered as a synthesis of the arts so long as all its elements have authentic artistic and intellectual values in their own right.
  9. Librettists should aim to actively work together with other artists as well as composers, directors and everyone involved in production.
  10. Realism, realism, realism. Consciousness, consciousness, consciousness. Boomboom, boomboom, boomboom.


The Sins of the Cities of the Plain2019-02-19T14:34:32+00:00
The Flea2019-02-19T14:31:37+00:00
Come il Sole tra la Polvere2019-02-02T15:26:22+00:00
The Overcoat2019-02-19T14:35:56+00:00
Tredici Secondi2019-05-04T12:49:35+00:00







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    Fabrizio is represented by Arcadia & Ricono, Ltd and Factotum Agency.

    For professional inquiries on his work as a playwright please email
    prof@arcadia-media.net or ufficio.diritti@arcadia-media.net.
    For professional inquiries on his work as a librettist please email


    facebook fabrizio funari

    3 months ago

    The librettist

    The Sins of the Cities of the Plain is coming to Festival Ensems. <3💣Un dels plats forts d’aquesta edició d’Ensems és la proposta conjunta del sempre transgressor Niño de Elche i Proyecto OCNOS

    ➡️ Interpretaran l’òpera en tres actes ‘The sins of the cities of the plain’ de Germán Alonso i Fabrizio Funari, basada en el llibre homònim, amb autoria discutida, publicat a principis del segle XX i que narra les memòries d’un prostitut masculí irlandès que va viure a Londres i va estar involucrat en l’escàndol del carrer Cleveland.

    📆 Divendres 18 de setembre – 22.00 hores – IVAM. Institut Valencià d'Art Modern.
    🎟 Entrades properament a la venda

    📲 Consulteu-ne tota la programació a ensems.ivc.gva.es

    Institut Valencià de Cultura GVA – IVC Música – GVA Cultura i Esport
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