Arrigo Boito

Biography

Born: February 24, 1842; Padua, Italy   Died: June 10, 1918; Milan, Italy  
Poet, novelist, and composer, Boito is known for the single opera he completed, Mefistofele. Like Rossini, who wrote three dozen operas by his mid-thirties and spent the next 40 years of his life unable or unwilling to complete another, Boito underwent some kind of crisis early, and worked for 54 years, unsuccessfully, at completing his second opera.

Arrigo Boito was born Enrico Boito in Padua, Italy, on February 24, 1842. His father was
Read more Silvestro Boito, a minor painter, and his mother was Josephine Radolinska, a Polish noblewoman. Silvestro abandoned the family while his son was still a small boy. When Enrico showed musical ability, his mother encouraged it, then, partly by telling her tale of poverty and desertion, managed to get him into the Milan Conservatory on scholarship. As a student at the Milan Conservatory, Boito was awarded a stipend after winning composition prizes that enabled him to travel and study abroad for two years. He took advantage of the prize to visit Poland, his mother's birthplace, as well as England, Germany, and France. He was much impressed during these sojourns with the dramatic power of the operas of Beethoven and especially of Wagner. Boito had a brilliant and wide-ranging mind, with a devouring appetite for classical literature. He changed his name to Arrigo about the time he received a scholarship for study in Paris. He wrote numerous cantatas, some operas, and other music, and he conceived plans for operas based on Nero and Goethe's Faust.

In 1868 he premiered his Mefistofele at La Scala. The highly literary and literate Boito also wrote the work's libretto. At its premiere performance (more than six hours long), a pious contingent, objecting to the thematic modernism of Boito's version of the Faust legend, demonstrated angrily. After the second performance was likewise ill-received, Boito withdrew the opera and undertook modifications to appease criticism. Mefistofele has become a staple of the repertoire, one of the most exciting and compelling of all operas. Later in life he came close to completing another opera, Nerone. The conductor Toscanini championed the work, but it has not found a secure foothold in the repertory. Dry as his font of musical inspiration became, Boito nevertheless retained his literary powers in full. He wrote librettos for Ponchielli's La Gioconda and for Verdi's great late-life Shakespearean operas, Falstaff and Othello. Boito's poetry has never fallen out of favor, and his letters reveal unusual gifts as well. Seldom, if ever, has anyone else secured a seemingly imperishable niche in musical history with so little output. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 225 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Luciano Pavarotti Edition 1 - The First Decade
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002051802 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Josephine Veasey,  Cornelius Opthof  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Kiri Te Kanawa - Opera Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564635295 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gustave Charpentier,  Claude Debussy,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Roger Vignoles,  Andrew Schulman
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano,  Jeffrey Tate,  Julius Rudel,  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Great Russian Bass Roles
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1196 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Christoff
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  • 5.
    Lyric & Coloratura Arias
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1233 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustave Charpentier,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Alfredo Simonetto,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Tullio Serafin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra San Remo,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Modest Prima Donna
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1232 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Giannella Borelli,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Giuseppe Morelli,  Walter Susskind  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Ferruccio Tagliavini - In Opera And Songs
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 100677 Release Date: 05/24/2013  
    Composer:  Giacomo Orefice,  Charles Gounod,  Arrigo Boito,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Ferruccio Tagliavini,  Carlo Meletti,  Clara Petrella,  Vito De Taranto
    Conductor:  Gaetano Merola,  Gabriele Santini,  Jonel Perlea
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Chorus,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Giordano: Fedora
    Label: Bellavoce   Catalog: 7702256 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Franco Alfano  ... 
    Performer:  Mario D'Anna,  Pietro De Vietri,  Eugenia Ratti,  Giuseppe Giacomini  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferruccio Scaglia,  Fulvio Vernizzi
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  • 9.
    Icon - Boris Christoff [11-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 829372 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander N. Serov  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Christoff,  Serge Zapolsky,  Alexandre Labinsky,  Gaston Marchésini  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Féodor Potorjinsky,  Georges Tzipine,  Issay Dobrowen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Féodor Potorjinsky Choir,  French National Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    The Edison Legacy Vol. 2
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 53014 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Adelina Agostinelli,  Carlo Albani,  Oreste Benedetti,  Celestina Boninsegna  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 11.
    Icon: Maria Callas - La Divina
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 23401 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Giuseppe Morresi,  Ebe Stignani,  Raffaele Arié  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $42.99
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  • 12.
    Maria Callas - The Live Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 59794 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Nicola Rescigno,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Jeffrey Tate
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno,  Alfredo Simonetto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  ORTF National Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $55.98
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  • 13.
    Maria Callas - The Studio Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 59776 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Monica Sinclair,  John Lanigan,  Joseph Rouleau  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre,  Antonio Tonini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    CD: $54.99
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  • 14.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 15.
    Arias / Erwin Schrott
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 197116 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Erwin Schrott
    Conductor:  Daniele Rustioni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    CD: $12.99
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  • 16.
    Leontyne Price - The Complete Collection Of Operatic Recital Albums
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 794051 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Gershwin,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price,  Laura Londi,  John W. Bubbles,  William Warfield  ... 
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Arturo Basile,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 17.
    Carlo Colombara - The Art Of The Bass
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110612 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Colombara
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  • 18.
    Boito: Mefistofele / Rudel, Treigle, Caballe, Domingo
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 0879562 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arrigo Boito
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Placido Domingo,  Norman Treigle
    Conductor:  Julius Rudel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Florencio Constantino
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89748 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Arrigo Boito,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Florencio Constantino,  Alice Nielsen
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  • 20.
    Joseph Calleja - The Maltese Tenor
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001574702 Release Date: 10/24/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Arrigo Boito  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Calleja,  Aleksandra Kurzak
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Geneva Grand Theatre Chorus
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  • 21.
    Boito: Mefistofele / Ranzani, Furlanetto, Filianoti, Theodossiou, Zaramella
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8660248-49 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arrigo Boito
    Performer:  Dimitra Theodossiou,  Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Giuseppe Filianoti,  Sonia Zaramella  ... 
    Conductor:  Stefano Ranzani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Palermo Teatro Massimo Chorus,  Palermo Teatro Massimo Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Hommage  - Joseph Rouleau
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 298746 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Arrigo Boito,  Claudio Monteverdi  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Rouleau,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Peter Glossop  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Tullio Serafin,  Nello Santi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.49
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  • 23.
    Verismo Arias / Jonas Kaufmann, Antonio Pappano, Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001546302 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Riccardo Zandonai,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilèa,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Rosa Feola,  Cristina Reale,  Eva-Maria Westbroek
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 24.
    The Very Best Of Placido Domingo
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48676 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Montserrat Caballé,  Renato Capecchi,  Peter Horton
    Conductor:  Eugene Kohn,  Asher Fisch,  John Barker,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    100 Best Placido Domingo
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47472 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Arrigo Boito,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Placido Domingo,  Montserrat Caballé,  Reri Grist  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  John Barker,  Bruno Bartoletti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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