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Anna Maria Dell'Oso Anna Maria Dell'Oso i(A22492 works by)
Born: Established: 1956 Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Female
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Librettist, writer.

Anna Maria Dell'Oso was born of Italian parents and, after studying Arts and Social Work at the University of Melbourne, transferred to the Victorian College of the Arts to study violin. She also studied briefly at the Tasmanian Conservatorium before travelling to New Zealand where she trained as a journalist for the Christchurch Star. In 1978 she joined the Sydney Morning Herald and subsequently worked for a number of Sydney newspapers and magazines as a columnist, and feature writer and as a film critic for ABC TV. She also studied screenwriting at the Australian Film and Television School. Her work has been read on Radio 2EA in 1989, on SBS TV in 1990 and on ABC Radio. She has read at Sydney University (1985), at the Harold Park Hotel, Sydney (from 1986) and for various student and teacher groups.

Dell'Oso's involvement in theatre began by default, when fellow journalist, Sally White (who had herself written a libretto with English composer Nicola Lefanou), could not undertake a collaborative project with composer Gillian Whitehead due to her pregnancy. Unsure of her ability as a librettist Dell'oso undertook a course in playwriting at NIDA for a year, and subsequently the first Whitehead/Dell'Oso project, The Pirate Moon was completed and then stage by students of New Zealand Opera School in 1986. Several years later Whitehead was commissioned by the Festival of Perth to write an opera. The result was the Whitehead/Dell'oso collaboration Bride of Fortune, which after a few years delay was eventually staged for the festival in 1991. This opera, which sees the story shift from Italy to Australia, was undertaken with a good deal of empathy not only from Dell'oso, whose Italian background made her an obvious choice to write the libretto, but also from Whitehead, who had previously lived in the country, and who therefore understood implicitly what her librettist was after.

Following the completion of Bride of Fortune Dell'oso began working on several projects, including a biography on one of her former music teachers, Jan Sedivka, and two novels - one about a search for a precious centuries-old Panormo violin, and the other about Aboriginal adoptions. She has also worked with Monica Pellizzari on a film about an Italian princess who falls in love with a married man, and is thus banished to a remote village.

Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages:ENGLISH

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Songs of the Suitcase Pymble : Flamingo HarperCollins Australia , 1998 Z8083 1998 selected work novel short story prose biography

'Delicate and beautifully written, Songs of the Suitcase is seven stories that connect through the rites of passage that mark birth, love and death. the stories explore the strength of blood ties in families and in music and the devastation of loss. Poetically sensitive and poignant. Anna Maria Dell᮳o was born in Melbourne of Italian immigrant parents. She is a respected journalist and a feature writer, columnist and film critic. She writes for literary papers and newspapers including the Good Weekend and has also written poetry, opera libretti, a play, film scripts and shorts, and a regular column in a womens magazine.' (Publication summary)

1999 winner Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Arts Queensland Steele Rudd Australian Short Story Award This award was known as the Steele Rudd Australian Short Story Award from 1988-2007.
Tinsel and Ashes 1993 single work drama
— Appears in: Noosa One-Act Winners : Volume 1 1993; (p. 45-74)
1991 winner National One Act Playwriting Competition Best Play Awards
Last amended 24 Dec 2008 15:28:07
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