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 Arrigo Boito

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Arrigo Boito

  • Birth 24 Feb 1842 Padua, Provincia di Padova, Veneto, Italy
  • Death 10 Jun 1918 Milan, Città Metropolitana di Milano, Lombardia, Italy
  • Burial Milan, Città Metropolitana di Milano, Lombardia, Italy
  • Plot Corridor B/G. Familiar Grave
  • Memorial ID 7861971

Composer, Librettist, Critic. He is remembered today for his opera "Mefistofele" and his collaborations with composer Giuseppe Verdi. Boito was born in Padua, Italy, of Italian-Polish descent. His early musical gifts enabled him to attend the Milan Conservatory on a scholarship and later to study abroad, during which he was introduced to Verdi in Paris. Moving to Milan in 1862, he was a member of the controversial Scapigliatura literary movement and penned sardonic verse condemning Italy's contemporary cultural scene. "Mefistofele", an adaptation of the Faust legend for which Boito wrote both text and music, was a fiasco at its 1868 La Scala premiere, but the revised 1875 version scored a hit and it is still in the operatic repertory. Its "Prologue in Heaven" is often performed as a separate concert piece. His first collaboration with Verdi was writing the poem for the cantata "Inno delle Nazioni" (1862), but relations cooled when the elder composer took offense at some of Boito's iconoclastic Scapigliatura writings. Music publisher Giulio Ricordi healed the breach by commissioning Boito to rewrite the libretto of Verdi's 1857 opera "Simon Boccanegra" for an 1881 revival; its success marked the beginning of a close friendship between the two artists. The librettos Boito wrote for Verdi's last two operas, "Otello" (1887) and "Falstaff" (1893), are among the finest in the genre, notable for their fidelity to Shakespeare, dramatic effectiveness, and the polished musicality of their language. He also penned the text for Ponchielli's opera "La Gioconda" (1876), using the pseudonym Tobia Gorrio (an anagram of his name). From 1889 to 1897 Boito was director of the Parma Conservatory and afterwards was active as a novelist and critic, but he produced little music after "Mefistofele". He is said to have destroyed the manuscript of a completed opera, "Ero e Leandro", and worked sporadically on his ambitious music drama "Nerone" between 1877 and 1915, but left only sketches of the last act. This was completed by others after Boito's death and "Nerone" was premiered by Toscanini in 1924.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni
  • Added: 11 Sep 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7861971
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Arrigo Boito (24 Feb 1842–10 Jun 1918), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7861971, citing Cimitero Monumentale di Milano, Milan, Città Metropolitana di Milano, Lombardia, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .