b Padua, 24 February 1842
d Milan, 10 June 1918, aged seventy-six
His mother was a Polish countess. He studied music al the Milan Conservatory, but developed a talent for literature, becoming a music critic and journalist. His first opera, Mefistofele, written in 1868, resulted in a riot between progressives and traditionalists at its first performance. He worked on his other opera, Nerone for the rest of his life, never completing it; it was first performed in 1921, six years after his death. Otherwise, his musical output was extremely small. His chief claim to fame is as librettist for other opera composers; notable are his La Gioconda for Ponchielli and Otello and Falstaff for Verdi. His later life was uneventful; he was interested in politics and became a senator in 1912.
Il Quattro Giugno, cantata
Le Sorelle d'Italia, opera
La Notte Difonde, for four voices and piano
Nerone, operatic tragedy