Arrigo Boito

Italian Born 24 Feb 1842 Died 10 Jun 1918

Born in Milan to a Polish countess and a painter of miniatures, Arrigo Boito studied composition and aesthetics at the local conservatory, where he wrote his first libretti.  After graduation, he travelled to Paris where he met Giuseppe Verdi, for whom he composed some texts.  in 1868 he completed his most famous work, the opera Mefistofele (based on Goethe's Faust), which premiered disastrously at La Scala.   Although it was later reworked to great acclaim, it is his libretti for which he is chiefly remembered - he provided Verdi with further texts for Simon Boccanegra, Othello and Falstaff and Ponchinelli with La Gioconda.  He also prepared Italian versions of foreign operas such as Der FreischutzRienzi and Ruslan and Lyudmila.

Related composers: Carl Maria von Weber, Richard Wagner, Mikhail Glinka

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