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Stefano Gobatti
Birth: Jul. 14, 1852
Bergantino
Provincia di Rovigo
Veneto, Italy
Death: Dec. 17, 1913
Bologna
Provincia di Bologna
Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Composer. He gained fleeting celebrity with his first opera, "I Goti" ("The Goths", 1873). Gobatti is a sad footnote in the history of 19th Century Italian music. Much like the "one-hit wonders" of today's pop music world, he was exploited by a cynical entertainment business and then cast aside when he failed to live up to his hype. He came to believe his own publicity and it ruined his life. Born into a peasant family in Italy's Rovigo province, Gobatti studied music with composer Lauro Rossi at the Milan and Naples Conservatories. When he was 18 he wrote "I Goti" as an exercise, an attempt to do something different with the lyric opera tradition represented by Giuseppe Verdi. Rossi felt it had enough merit to recommend it to the music publishing firm Lucca, and the naive young composer was soon swept into the cultural politics of his time. For nearly 50 years Italy's opera scene was affected by the "War of the Publishers", a cutthroat rivalry between music publishers Ricordi (centered in Milan) and Lucca (with a stronghold in Bologna). Their power was such they commissioned operas themselves, produced them in the theatres they chose, and publicized them through their in-house magazines. Ricordi boasted Verdi as its top artist and control of the La Scala opera, while Lucca made its name with foreign composers. It was through Lucca that Wagner was introduced to Italy in the early 1870s with the Bologna premieres of "Lohengrin", "Tannhauser", and "Rienzi", allowing the company to congratulate itself for presenting "music of the future". And with the unknown Gobatti and his student opera they saw an opportunity to promote a native composer along the same lines - even if his ambition overstepped his abilities. Lucca gave "I Goti" a lavish premiere at Bologna's Teatro Comunale in 1873 and brought all its influence to bear on its reception. Local critics (employed by the publisher) hailed it as a "triumph". Gobatti was named an honorary citizen of Bologna and honorary member of the city's Philharmonic Academy; Bolognese poet and future Nobel Laureate Giosue Carducci predicted he would "leave his footprints on the history of Italian art". It was even arranged for him to be deemed a Knight of the Italian Crown by Victor Emmanuel II. Thanks to the furore "I Goti" was soon produced at most of Italy's major opera houses. Away from Bologna and Lucca's propaganda machine, however, it became clear that the public didn't want the opera. Verdi attended a performance in Genoa and privately called it "a musical abortion...Gobatti writes in a language he does not understand". "I Goti" disappeared from the repertory, and Gobatti's next two operas, "Luce" (1875) and "Cordelia" (1881), were fiascos. He was then quietly dropped from the Lucca roster. Bewildered by this turn of events - he had gone from hero to zero in three successive works - he grew bitter and reclusive. "A thick veil arose between me and the human race, with whom I did not want to have relations any longer", he wrote to Ricordi. He appeared in public on only two other occasions, both in Bologna: at an 1885 concert of his religious and chamber pieces, and for an 1898 production of his revised score for "I Goti", which failed to rescue it from oblivion. Ill and impoverished, Gobatti eventually withdrew into a Franciscan monastery, where he died. It was rumored he had gone insane. His final opera, "Massias" (completed in 1912), has never been produced. Historian Julian Budden noted, "To the end he ascribed his failure to the intrigues of others; in fact it was his early success, not his failure, that he owed to intrigue". (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Cimitero Monumentale della Certosa di Bologna
Bologna
Provincia di Bologna
Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Plot: Terza Sala del Colombario.
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: luigi verdi
Record added: Nov 02, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6901896
Stefano Gobatti
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Stefano Gobatti
Added by: luigi verdi
 
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- R I P
 Added: Jul. 14, 2013

- David Wend
 Added: Jul. 15, 2012
I light a candle for Stefano Gobatti ...
- Candles
 Added: Jan. 20, 2012
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