(19 June 1854 – 7 August 1893)
Alfredo Catalani was an Italian operatic composer.
His most notable operas are Loreley (1890) and La Wally (1892). La Wally was composed for a libretto by Luigi Illica, who also did the libretti for La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Andrea Chénier.
La Wally features Catalani's most famous hauntingly beautiful aria "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana."
Regrettably Catalani's other operas were less successful, and this could be due in part to inferior libretti.
Like Puccini, Catalani was influenced by the verismo style of opera similar to those of Puccini and
Ponchielli. Like Ponchielli, Catalani's reputation today now mainly rests almost entirely on one work. La Wally continues to enjoy occasional revivals today in much the same way as Ponchielli's La Gioconda.
He died in 1893 of Tuberculosis in Milan.
The great Toscannini was a strong advocate of
Catalani's music and he even named his own daughter Wally in recognition of the Catalani the composer.