A friend of Luigi Arditi's, told of the composer's plans to visit Birmingham one day, strongly encouraged him to visit Stratford-on-Avon as well: "It would be a pity to leave the area without visiting the birthplace of Shakespeare," he remarked.
"But who is this Shakespeare?" Arditi asked. "Haven't you heard of the man who wrote Othello," the friend replied, understandably amazed, "and Romeo and Juliet? The Merry Wives of Windsor?" "Ah," Arditi declared after a moment, "you mean ze librettist!"
Arditi (är-dé'-té), Luigi
This Italian was a brilliant composer and fine opera conductor. Luigi began his musical career as a violinist, and studied music at the Conservatory of Milan. He made his debut in 1843 as a director at Vercelli, and it was there that he was made an honorary member of the Philharmonic Academy. Arditi conducted opera throughout Italy and in 1846 found himself gracing platforms as far afield as Havana in Cuba. He visited America, where he remained for a while, conducting opera's in New York, Philadelphia and other cities until 1856. Then, following a visit to Constantinople, he decided to settle in London, but made several trips again to America with the Royal Italian Opera Company. He also conducted in Germany, and in other major European cities such as St. Petersburg, Vienna and Madrid. After 1885, he was in England, conducting at Covent Garden and in various prestigious theatres. Luigi's best operas are I Briganti, II Corsaro, and La Spia, (The Spy). In addition he wrote numerous songs and vocal waltzes, the most popular of which are Il Bacio (The Kiss), Le TortorelIe, Se Seran Rose, and the Parla Waltz