On this day in 1904 Puccini’s Madama Butterfly had its disastrous premiere in Milan.
Ricordi in Musice e Musicisti:
Growls, shouts, groans, laughter, giggling, the usual single cries of “bis,” designed to excite the public still more; that sums up the reception which the public of La Scala accorded the new work by Maestro Giacomo Puccini. . . . The spectacle given in the auditorium seemed as well organized as that on the stage since it began precisely with the beginning of the opera.
On this day in 1859 Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera premiered in Napoli.
Birthday anniversaries of composer Giovanni Pacini (1796), conductor Vincenzo Bellezza (1888), contralto Gertrud Wettergren (1897), soprano Marjorie Lawrence (1909), conductor and composer René Leibowitz (1913), baritone Luis Sagi-Vela (1914), soprano and writer Margaret Truman (1924) and composer Lee Hoiby (1926).