Nowadays Francesco Maria Piave is remembered only as a librettist for Verdi. But he had one other great success in the operatic world: Crispino e la comare by Luigi and Federico Ricci, which had its world premiere on 28 February 1850 at the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice and took Europe (and Calcutta, and the Americas) by storm.
Luigi Ricci was brother-in-law to Teresa Stolz, the soprano who sang in the world premieres of the Manzoni Requiem, the revised Forza, and the revised Don Carlo, as well as the European premiere of Aida. He was a colorful character who lived with and had children by both of Stolz’s sisters, the twins Francesca and Ludmilla. Federico was Luigi’s younger brother.
Dame Joan Sutherland recorded an aria from Crispino, “Io non sono più l’Annetta,” in 1962.
Daniel Auber was born in 1782, making him some thirty years older than Verdi. The two socialized in Paris, and Verdi apparently liked and respected Auber a great deal.
Auber’s Gustave III had its world premiere on 27 February 1833 at the Opéra. Gustave III is the same subject that ultimately became Un ballo in maschera. (The Wikipedia article on Gustavo III offers details on the tribulations of that opera.)
Excerpts from Gustave III are available on YouTube. Today’s selection: the title character’s “Vieille sibylle, qu’on dit habile,” which is more or less parallel to Verdi’s “Di’ tu se fedele.”