Faccio, Franco [Francesco Antonio]
- William Ashbrook
(b Verona, March 8, 1840; d Monza, July 21, 1891). Italian conductor and composer. Born in humble circumstances, he early manifested a propensity for music and was admitted to the Milan Conservatory in 1855, where he studied composition with Stefano Ronchetti-Montevito. There he struck up a lifelong friendship with Arrigo Boito, two years his junior. Their first collaboration was a patriotic cantata, Il quattro giugno (1860), inspired by the death in battle of a fellow pupil; Boito supplied the text and some of the music. The reception of this work at the conservatory, on the heels of the liberation of Lombardy, was so enthusiastic that the next year they produced a sequel, Le sorelle d’Italia, a panegyric to nations still under foreign domination. In the patriotic fervour of the times both Boito and Faccio, who were natives of the Veneto (then still in the hands of the Austrians), were received, despite their youth, by the upper echelons of Milanese society, including the famous salon of Countess Maffei. Their precosity, talent and determination to renew the tradition of Italian opera won them such warm support that on the completion of their studies they were awarded ...