Morning. The Mayor of Milan orders that all streets in the vicinity of Teatro alla Scala be closed to traffic.
Throughout the day, large crowds assemble outside the theatre and windows facing La Scala are filled with people. They continually shout “Viva Verdi!”
Otello, a dramma lirico by Giuseppe Verdi (73) to words of Boito (44) after Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. It is a thunderous, overwhelming success. There are dozens of curtain calls for the performers, Verdi, and Boito. The composer and his wife, along with the librettist are mobbed as they leave the theatre. Verdi is almost denuded. As they enter their carriage the crowd detaches it from the horses and it is drawn by manpower to the Grand Hôtel de Milan. Finally making it inside, the three appear on the balcony to the multitude. Crowds in the streets of Milan shout “Viva Verdi” and music is played under his window until 05:00 tomorrow morning. In the orchestra for the premiere is a 19-year-old cellist named Arturo Toscanini.