Boito, Arrigo

BORN 24 Feb 1842, Padova, Veneto - DIED 10 Jun 1918, Milano, Lombardia
BIRTH NAME Boito, Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni
GRAVE LOCATION Milano, Lombardia: Cimitero Monumentale, Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale (Famedio ricordati: edicola G ponente superiore, nicchia 16)

Arrigo Boito was the son of the miniature painter Silvestro Boito from Padua. His mother was the Polish countess Józefina Radolinska. He studied at the Conservatory in Milan and there he befriended Alberto Visetto.

In 1866 he fought in the Seven Weeks War under Garibaldi. In 1868 his only opera "Mefistofele", based on "Faust" by Goethe, was performed at La Scala. He conducted the premiere himself but it wasn't well received because of its supposed "Wagnerism". Boito reworked it and a second premiere in Bologna in 1875 was more successful. In 1887 he wrote the libretto for Verdi's "Otello" and in 1893 for his "Falstaff".

Between 1887 and 1894 he had a secret love affair with the famous actress Eleonora Duse. It had to be hidden from his aristocratic friends, but their correspondence survived.

In 1889 he succeeded Giovanni Bottesini as the director of the Conservatory in Parma. He was awarded a honourary doctorate of the University of Cambridge in 1893. When Verdi died in 1901 he was at his bedside. He died himself in 1918. In 1948 Arturo Toscanini conducted a memorial concert in his honour at La Scala.

Related persons
• admired Beethoven, Ludwig van
• cooperated with Verdi, Giuseppe
• was a friend of Visetti, Alberto
• admired Wagner, Richard


The tomb of Arrigo Boito at the Cimitero Monumentale, Milan.
Picture by Androom (26 Jan 2007)


• Adler, Josef, Handbuch der Grabstätten, 2. Band, Die Grabstätte der Europäer, Deutsches Kunstverlag, München, 1986
• Hellwig, Gerhard, Der Neue Opern-, Operetten- und Musical Führer, Aktualiseerte Neuauflage, Gomdrom, Bindlag, 1994
Arrigo Boito - Wikipedia

Boldini, Giovanni

Published: 09 Dec 2018
Last update: 26 Jan 2022