Giulio Gatti-Casazza

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Giulio Gatti-Casazza
General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera
In office
Preceded byHeinrich Conried
Succeeded byHerbert Witherspoon
General Manager of La Scala
In office
Personal details
Born(1869-02-03)3 February 1869
Udine, Italy
Died2 September 1940(1940-09-02) (aged 71)
Ferrara, Italy
(m. 1910; div. 1928)

Rosina Galli

Giulio Gatti-Casazza (3 February 1869 – 2 September 1940) was an Italian opera manager. He was general manager of La Scala in Milan, Italy, from 1898 to 1908 and later the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1908 to 1935.[1]


Time cover, 5 November 1923

Gatti-Casazza was born on 3 February 1869 in Udine, in northeastern Italy. In 1893 he succeeded his father as manager of the municipal theatre in Ferrara. He was manager of La Scala from 1898 to 1908, before his move to New York City, when he became general manager of the Metropolitan Opera from 1908 to 1935. Under his leadership the Metropolitan enjoyed a prolonged era of artistic innovation and musical excellence. He brought with him conductor Arturo Toscanini, who became the company's principal conductor and led performances of Verdi, Wagner and others that set high standards for the Metropolitan which have endured to the present day. The Viennese composer Gustav Mahler also was a Met conductor during Gatti-Casazza's first two seasons and in later years conductors Tullio Serafin and Artur Bodanzky led the company in the Italian and German repertories respectively.[1]

Affectionately called "Gatti" by friends and colleagues, Gatti-Casazza's prodigious artistic and organizational skills attracted the best singers and conductors to the Metropolitan, and, on 10 December 1910, hosted its first World premiere, La Fanciulla del West by Giacomo Puccini. Many noted singers of the era appeared at the Met under Gatti-Casazza's leadership, including Rosa Ponselle, Emmy Destinn, Frances Alda, Amelita Galli-Curci, Maria Jeritza, Lily Pons; Enrico Caruso, Jacques Urlus, Giovanni Martinelli, Beniamino Gigli, Feodor Chaliapin, Titta Ruffo, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, and Lauritz Melchior.

For his accomplishments, Gatti-Casazza was one of the first Italians (and the first Italian living in the United States) to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. He appeared on the weekly's cover twice; on 5 November 1923, and again on 1 November 1926.[2]

In 1910, he married the soprano Frances Alda.[3] They divorced in 1928 and he married the Met's prima ballerina Rosina Galli. He retired in 1935 and spent the last years of his life in his native Italy. He died on 2 September 1940 in Ferrara, Italy.[1]

Cultural depictions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Gatti-Casazza Dies At 71 In Homeland. Impresario of the Metropolitan Opera Produced 15 U.S. Works in 27 Years Here". The New York Times. 3 September 1940. Retrieved 12 August 2015. Giulio GattiCasazza, who for twenty-seven years was impresario of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, died at Ferrara today at the age of 71.
  2. ^ "Giulio Gatti-Casazza". Time. 1 November 1926. Cover.
  3. ^ "Gati-Casazza Gets Marriage License. Metropolitan Opera Manager and Mme. Alda, Soprano, Are Expected to Wed Today". The New York Times. 3 April 1910. Retrieved 12 August 2015. Just as the Marriage License Bureau in the City Hall was closing yesterday at noon the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera Company, Signor Gatti-Casazza, and Mme. Fiances Alda, one of the principal sopranos of the company, together with Rawlins Cottenet, one of the Directors of the company, drove up, and the Italian manager and his soprano obtained a marriage license, according to Chief Clerk Scully of the Marriage License Bureau.

Further reading[edit]

  • Giulio Gatti-Casazza - Memories of the Opera (1941; autobiography)
  • Gabriel, Gilbert W. [writing as Golly-Wogg], "Maestrissimo!" The New Yorker 1/1 (21 February 1925): 9-10 (profile)
  • Meyer, Martin (1983). The Met: One Hundred Years of Grand Opera. New York City: Simon & Schuster.
  • "Stars of Other Days to Shine at Gatti's Jubilee". Newsweek. 25 February 1933.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Cover of Time magazine
5 November 1923
Succeeded by