Arrigo Boito (1842-1918)
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Ten great librettists
5. Arrigo Boito (1842-1918)
Boito was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, librettist and composer, best known today for providing the words to Verdi's Otello and Falstaff, although their efforts to turn 'King Lear' into an opera never materialised. Boito's own opera Mefistofele is itself full of sublime music. Verdi was not impressed saying Boito 'aspires to originality but succeeds only at being strange.' Boito also wrote the libretto for 'La Gioconda' by Ponchielli.