Portuguese composer Viscondo de Arneiro is a member of a business family. He studied music in Lisbon. His operetta “A questão do oriente” was performed in Coimbra, at the Teatro Acadêmico (1859). In 1866 his ballet “Ginn” was performed in Lisbon with great success, and in 1871 his “Te Deum” was given there. His opera-ballet “L’elisir di giovinezza” (4, J.J. Magne), to an Italian text, was performed at the Teatro de S Carlos on 31 March 1876, but was not popular with the public, and he decided to present it in Italy. Given in Milan, at the Teatro Dal Verme (1877), the work still failed to win public favour. Veiga adapted the music to a new libretto by Rudolfo Paravicini, based on an English novel by Ann Radcliffe. The new version, a melodrama tragico entitled “Dina la derelitta” (S Carlos, 14 March 1885), was finally accepted by audiences. Veiga wrote another opera, “Don Bibas”, based on Alexandre Herculano’s previously unknown novel “O Bobo”, which drew him into the Portuguese nationalist movement; the opera has never been performed.
(written by Luisa Cymbron)