‘I always say that there is not an ideal subject for an opera. It all depends on what inspires music to you. Imagine if Wagner had set to music MADAMA BUTTERFLY, or if Puccini had set to music DIE WALKÜRE.' - Menotti
Through the opera house, Broadway theater, films and electronic media, Menotti has enjoyed the largest audience of any 20th-century opera composer.
A complete man of the theater, he involves himself with every level of opera production, writing his own librettos and often acting as casting and stage director.
Although Menotti remained an Italian citizen and now makes his home in Scotland, he has had such a long and productive career in the United States that he is generally viewed as an American composer.
In addition to many commissions, Menotti has twice been awarded Pulitzer Prizes in music and, in 1984, was honored by the Kennedy Center for lifetime achievement in the arts. He was chosen as the 1991 'Musician of the Year' by Musical America.
According to critical appraisal by H. Wiley Hitchcock, "Menotti has combined the theatrical sense of a popular playwright and a Pucciniesque musical vocabulary with an Italian love of liquid language and a humane interest in characters as real human beings. The result is opera more accessible than anyone else's at the time."