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Francesco Cilea


1866 - Born on July 23 in Palmi, in the regione of Calabria, as the son of a judge. He would attend school in Naples. 1879 - On the recommendation of Francesco Florimo, a friend of Vincenzo Bellini, admitted to the conservatory in Naples where he would study with Paolo Serrao, Beniamino Cesi, and Giuseppe Martucci. His fellow pupils would include Umberto Giordano. 1885 - Graduates from the conservatory. 1887 - Receives a prize from the government for his Suite for Orchestra. His works begin to be published by Ricordi and by Bote & Bock. 1889 - Premiere of the opera Gina at the conservatory in Naples. 1892 - Becomes a teacher at the conservatory in Naples. Premiere in Florence of the opera La Tilda, written on commission for the Sonzogno publishing house; also performed in Vienna, in a guest appearance by an Italian company, and reviewed by Eduard Hanslick. 1896 - Becomes a teacher at the Istituto reale in Florence, where he would remain until 1904. 1897 - The opera L'Arlesiana after Alphonse Daudet premiered at the Teatro Lirico in Milan. (Second version premiered in 1899 and third version in 1912.) 1900 - Begins composing Adriana Lecouvreur. 1902 - The premiere of Adriana Lecouvreur on November 6 at the Teatro Lirico in Milan is a triumph for Enrico Caruso. The opera is called the best work in the style of the 'Giovane scuola italiana'. 1907 - Premiere of the opera Gloria in Milan. (New version premiered in 1931.) 1909 - Composes the opera Il Matrimonio selvaggio, which would remain unperformed. Works on the opera Ritorno e amore, never completed. 1913 - Becomes director of the conservatory in Palermo. 1916 - Becomes director of the conservatory in Naples, where he would remain until 1935. 1938 - Becomes a member of the Accademico d'Italia. He would spend his final years in Rome and Varazze, ill and in financial difficulties. 1950 - Dies on November 20 in Varazze, in the regione of Liguria.