Fabrizio Funari is an Italy-born librettist, playwright, and screenwriter based in Paris and Barcelona, known for his anti-normative narratives and boundary-pushing in opera-making. He writes in English, Italian, and Spanish and is the recipient of awards and residencies such as the Venice Biennale Music College and Deutsche Oper Berlin’s Neue Szenen. His work “The Sins of the Cities of the Plain” garnered attention as the first opera written entirely in Polari, Britain’s lost gay language.
He wrote and directed “The Sins of the Cities of the Plain,” based on the long-lost novel of the same name with composer Germán Alonso, under the commission of ICAS (Instituto Cultural y Artes Sevilla), Fundación BBVA and Proyecto Ocnos (also serving as the ensemble). Award-winning singer Niño de Elche played the main role to critical acclaim, and the opera was defined as “Pornografía Bruitista.” It premiered at Espacio Turina in 2019 and subsequently headlined the ENSEMS Contemporary Music Festival in Valencia in 2020.
In 2019, he was awarded a spot in the Venice Biennale Music College Programme alongside composer Marco Benetti. Their work “Tredici secondi o un bipede implume ma con unghie piatte” premiered at Teatro Piccolo dell’Arsenale, with director Francesca Merli and notable singers Ugo Tarquini, Eleonora Claps, and the first transgender baritone Emily de Salve. Fabrizio continued to work with Marco on a revisitation of the myth of Anna Perenna which premiered the same year at Rome’s museum of Malborghetto and they are currently developing a new chamber opera commissioned by Operitage.
With composer Kieron Smith, he wrote “The Overcoat,” after Gogol’s story, which premiered at Blackheath Halls in London in 2019. And his other notable works include “The Flea,” written with composer Martin Gaughin in 2020, and “Decameron Privato,” based on Italy’s first homosexual short story in Boccaccio’s Decameron, for composer Lorenzo Casati in 2021. His second opera with composer Germán Alonso, “Loveléase,” premiered in 2023 under the direction of José Cortez, after being selected for Neue Szenen, promoted by Deutsche Oper Berlin in collaboration with the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler”. Fabrizio is currently working on a new opera with composer Gaia Aloisi which will premiere in 2024 in London.
In 2020, he wrote, directed, and co-produced “Geografie di un sogno e altre solitudini,” which opened in a secret location in the centre of Rome (Il Cantiere Theatre). This 30-minute interactive and immersive play, where one person entered the labyrinthine-like space of tableaux vivants and engaged with the actors and the space, was sold out and received critical acclaim. In 2021, he wrote the musical “Si esto fuera una pelicula sería un drama,” which premiered at Teatro Central, headlining the Andalusian LGBTQ+ Pride in Spain. The show, produced by Togayther and directed by Ramon Pereira, was subsequently seen in multiple presentations around the country. As a screenwriter, he was the recipient of the Atelier Renoir Screenwriter residency in Rome in 2022, where he participated in a writers’ room with screenwriter and director Ciro D’Emilio. He has collaborated with established writers and directors like Anna Foglietta and Alessandra Cenni. His short films have screened worldwide, receiving numerous accolades, notably for “A portrait of the artist as an older woman,” featuring iconic actress Pia Morra. He is currently working on his debut feature film.
Fabrizio is also the Artistic Director of The Librettist, a project that aims to promote contemporary librettists and operas. He has collaborated with institutions such as Opera360, Opera Charm, and the Verona Opera Academy, where he authored and coordinated Opera Factor, a composer-librettist residency, and La Treccani, where he presented Ennio Morricone’s autobiography “In his own words” with award-winning co-author and composer Alessandro De Rosa. He holds a BA in Linguistics from Roma Tre University, a year-abroad Diploma from University College of London (UCL), an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths University, and a Diploma in Screenwriting from Accademia del Cinema Renoir in Rome. His work has been featured in several magazines, including Opera Charm’s Anniversary Issue and Mimesis Journal.