On this day in 1857 Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra premiered in Venice.

Birthday anniversaries of composer Thomas Augustine Arne (1710), writer Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863), conductor Hans Knappertsbusch (1888), soprano Helga Pilarczyk (1925), bass-baritone Zoltán Kelemen (1926) and tenor Veriano Luchetti (1939).

On March 11:

On this day in 1985 Giuseppe Sinopoli made his Metropolitan Opera debut conducting Tosca.

Martin Mayer in Opera:

At the end of the first act of the Metropolitan Opera’s remarkably lavish new “Tosca” (March 11), I was licking my chops in anticipation of a good solid quarrel with my colleagues, who had disliked the production pretty strongly. Yes, the real Sant’Andrea della Valle was never like Franco Zeffirelli’s, never so sunny or so pretty, and maybe not so big: and so gorgeous a collection of costumes never paraded through it. And Giuseppe Sinopoli’s conducting was a little slow and loud and heavy, overconscious of the Germanic influences that really are in the score. The orchestra played rather coarsely for him, too. Still, we had Domingo, a convincing Cavaradossi singing very beautifully; and we had Hildegard Behrens, solidly on pitch and musical. She was a surprisingly effective and charming coquette, self-absorbed, a simple soul, cheerful in art and love, easily turned to jealousy and religiosity. Cornell MacNeil’s Scarpia directed traffic efficiently; if his voice no longer gives much pleasure, it did not cause any pain in Act I. And the crowd scene at the end was truly impressive.

On this day in 1851 Verdi’s Rigoletto premiered in Venice.

On this day in 1867 his Don Carlos premiered in Paris.