Gatti-Casazza was born at Udine, in northeastern Italy, and in 1893 succeeded his father as manager of the municipal theatre in Ferrara. He was manager of La Scala in Milan from 1898 to 1908, before his move to New York City. He was head of the Metropolitan Opera from 1908 to 1935. In 1910 he married the soprano Frances Alda; they divorced in 1928 and he married the dancer Rosina Galli. Gatti-Casazza retired in 1935 and spent the last years of his life in his native Italy. He died in 1940 in Ferrara.