Italian literary scholar. Angelo Maria Labia was a noble Venetian, an abbé who, at the end of the 17th century, built in his palace in the Venice neighbourhood of San Gerolamo a small theatre in the style of the theatre of San Giovanni Grisostomo in the same city. This room was reserved for puppet performances.

The best-known puppet performance took place on the Sunday of Pentecost in 1746 and during Carnival in 1747 and 1748. Lo starnuto d’Ercole (The Sneeze of Hercules) was staged with a score by Johann Adolf Hasse, with a text that was different in certain parts from the original by Pier Jacopo Martello; Eurimedonte e Timocleone ovvero I rivali delusi (Euridimon and Timocleon, Or The Deceived Rivals); Il Caietto; La Didone abbandonata (Dido Abandoned) by Pietro Metastasio; and Il Gianguir. The productions, with meticulously constructed sets and costumes and accompanied by a full orchestra, were greatly admired. Angelo Maria Labia had the texts of the plays printed and offered them to audiences, with “excellent and copious refreshments”.

(See Italy.)


  • Groppo, Antonio. Notizia generale de’ teatri della città di Venezia scritta l’anno 1766 [General News about the Theatres in the City of Venice Written the Year 1766]. Venezia: Pietro Savioni, 1766.
  • McCormick, John, with Alfonso Cipolla and Alessandro Napoli. The Italian Puppet Theater – A History. Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Co., 2010.