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Solera, Temistocle

Solera, Temistocle, Italian librettist and composer; b. Ferrara, Dec. 25, 1815; d. Milan, April 21, 1878. He ran away from a Viennese boarding school, and worked with a traveling circus. He met Verdi, who accepted his offer to rework the libretto for Oberto, conte de San Bonifacio (1839). Solera then provided Verdi with librettos for I Lombardi alla prima Crociata (1843), Giovanna d’Arco (1845), and Attila (1846). He subsequently was active as an impresario in Saragossa, Barcelona, Gibraltar, and Madrid, where he was joined by his wife, the singer Teresa Rosmini. He also was a secret courier between Napoleon III and Cavour. After serving as chief of police in various locales, he went to Paris as an antique dealer. His last days were spent in poverty in Milan. Solera’s operas, all to his own librettos, included lldegonda (Milan, March 20, 1840), II contadino d’Angleiate (Milan, Oct. 4, 1841; rev. version as La fanciulla di Castelguelfo, Modena, Oct. 23, 1842), Genio e sventura (Padua, June 1843), and La hermana de Palayo (Madrid, 1845). He also wrote chamber music, sacred pieces, and songs.

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Solera, Temistocle

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