9 May 1857
Castell'Arquato, Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
16 December 1919 (aged 62)
Luigi Illica (9 May 1857 – 16 December 1919) was an Italian librettist who wrote for Giacomo Puccini (usually with Giuseppe Giacosa), Alfredo Catalani, Umberto Giordano, Baron Alberto Franchetti and other important Italian composers.
His most famous opera librettos are those for La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Andrea Chénier.
Illica was born at Castell'Arquato.
His personal life sometimes imitated his libretti.
The reason he is always photographed with his head slightly turned is because he lost his right ear in a duel over a woman.
When silent films based on Illica's operas were made, his name appeared in large letters on advertisements because distributors could only guarantee that his stories would be used, and not that they would be accompanied by the music of the appropriate composer.
(The dates given are those of creations.)
Il vassalo di Szegith (Smareglia, 1884)
La Wally (Catalani, 1892)
Cristoforo Colombo (Franchetti, 1892)
Manon Lescaut (Puccini, 1893)
Cornelius Schütt (Smareglia, 1893)
Le martire (Samaras, 1894)
Nozze istriane (Smareglia, 1895)
La Bohème (Puccini, 1896)
Andrea Chénier (Giordano, 1896)
Iris (Mascagni, 1898)
Tosca (Puccini, 1900)
Anton (Galeotti, 1900)
Medioevo Latino (Panizza, 1900)
Le maschere (Mascagni, 1901)
Il cuore della fanciulla (Buongiorno, 1901)
Lorenza (Mascheroni, 1901)
Germania (Franchetti, 1902)
Nadeya (Cesare Rossi, 1903)
Siberia (Umberto Giordano; 1903)
Madama Butterfly (Puccini, 1904)
Cassandra (Gnecchi, 1905)
Tess (Erlanger, 1906)
Aurora (Panizza, 1908)
Il principe Zilah (Franco Alfano, 1909)
Hellera (Italo Montemezzi, 1909)
La Perugina (Edoardo Mascheroni, 1909)
Isabeau (Mascagni, 1911)
Giova a Pompei (Alberto Franchetti & Umberto Giordano, 1921)
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