Alfredo Catalani (June 19, 1854 ? August 7, 1893), was an Italian operatic composer, best known for the works La Wally (1892, to a libretto by Luigi Illica, containing Catalani's most famous aria, "Ebben? Ne andrņ lontana" from Act I) and Loreley (1890). Other operas were less successful, hampered by poor libretti.
Catalani was born in Lucca. He was opposed to the verismo style becoming popular during the 1880s. His works have largely fallen out of the repertoire, in favor of Massenet and Giacomo Puccini, whose music his work most resembles; the influence of Amilcare Ponchielli can also be detected. Nevertheless La Wally does enjoy very occasional revivals.
Catalani trained at the Conservatory of Milan under Antonio Bazzini (1818?1887), who became the Conservatory's director and who also guided Puccini. On his early death in 1893 (the result of tuberculosis), Catalani was interred in the Cimitero Monumentale in Milan, where Ponchielli and conductor Arturo Toscanini also lie. Toscanini was a strong advocate of Catalani's music.
He died at Milan in 1893.
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