Pietro Mascagni in 100 Words
Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) is one of the most important Italian composers of the
turn of the 20th century. The formidable success of his first masterpiece in 1890,
Cavalleria Rusticana, unfortunately eluded many of his following works. Mascagni
however wrote 15 operas, an operetta, several beautiful orchestral and vocal works, as
well as songs and piano music. He enjoyed amazing operatic successes during his
lifetime, and at the same time pursued a very successful career of conductor. Mascagni's
approach to opera differed a lot from that of his friend and rival Puccini, which
arguably was one of the factors that led to an under-appreciation of the value of his
music by critics.
[ Contact Us » | Newsletter » | FAQ » ]
Sunday, February 22, 2009 (updated Sunday, February 22, 2009)
Presents the U.S. Première of Pietro Mascagni's 1921 Opera of the French Revolution
IL PICCOLO MARATTeatro Grattacielo
will celebrate its 15th Anniversary with the North American Première of Pietro Mascagni’s dramatic opera, Il Piccolo Marat
at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
on Monday, April 13, 2009
, conducted by Teatro Grattacielo’s Music Director David Wroe
The performance will also feature the participation of over 100 choristers
, combining members of the Cantori New York Chorus
and the Long Island University Chorus
, Mark Shapiro
, Director, with the Teatro Grattacielo Orchestra.
Tickets are all on the Orchestra Level: $75 - $50 - $25 - $15
available at the Box Office or through CenterCharge at 212-721-6500
Scene from Act One of the 1921 premiere of the opera
The large cast includes tenor Arnold Rawls
, Turkish bass Burak Bilgili
, soprano Paula Delligatti
and baritone Andrew Oakden
. See more about the cast here.
The story concerns a young man who rescues his sweetheart and his mother from the clutches of a petty revolutionary who is
determined to take revenge on aristocrats. The opera features massive choral forces, dramatic scenes of great beauty, and
tender moments of love that are the rival of any Verismo opera. This is a work that deserves to be heard, and will be the
only chance to hear it in the New York area, performed by a full symphonic orchestra and world-class singers, conducted by
a maestro in full command of these revolutionary resources.
Pietro Mascagni around the time of "Il Piccolo Marat"
Considered by many critics to be Mascagni’s greatest achievement, Il Piccolo Marat
was a huge success at its Rome premiere in 1921, receiving over 50 curtain calls. The opera went on to be produced throughout
Italy, and in Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Alexandria, Barcelona, Paris and at La Scala. You can hear historic recordings here, from 1920's performances of Il Piccolo Marat.
Written during - and about - a period of great anxiety, destruction, and change, not unlike our own recent times, Il Piccolo
Marat’s message is the triumph of hope over despair, of love over hatred, and of good over evil. It confirms the possibility
of transformation in spite of the whirlwinds that might surround us.Learn more about the opera at the Teatro Grattacielo website.
Teatro Grattacielo is extremely pleased and honored to present this great masterpiece to New York in its long-overdue North
Teatro Grattacielo: "Maybe you haven't heard your favorite opera yet!"
2 Riverside Drive, 2C | New York, NY 10023 | 212-595-7127 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, December 7, 2008 (updated Sunday, December 7, 2008)[More »]
Sunday, November 2, 2008 (updated Sunday, November 16, 2008)
This fascinating photo recently turned up at an eBay auction. It was advertised as a photo of Mascagni rehearsing Cavalleria rusticana
, but obviously the sets are those of Aida
, and if you look carefully you can see the conductor score for Aida
right behind Mascagni!
On the podium, you can read "Fot. Willinger Wien". This inscription is designed to look like something engraved on the podium,
but it was likely added by the photographer. This would point to a performance of Aida
in Vienna. As for the date, I would guess that this took place during the 1930s given Mascagni's looks. It should be possible
to find a more precise date by looking up when Mascagni conducted Aida in Vienna.
Thanks to the seller, James Camner, who was kind enough to provide me with a good scan of this photo.Update:
Roger points out that this looks like an outdoor performance, and that Mascagni conducted Aida in Vienna in August 1924,
among other dates. So that photo could very well be from August 1924.Update:
John found this mini-biography about a photographer called Laszlo Willinger
who had a studio in Vienna in the 1930s.
Sunday, October 19, 2008 (updated Sunday, October 19, 2008)
Pianist Marco Sollini is playing today at the Cherry Hill Plantation in North Carolina. Sollini "oversaw the publication by
Boccaccini and Spada of the piano music of Puccini, Mascagni, Giordano, Leoncavallo, and Bellini as well as chamber music
by Rossini and Mascagni" (as reported in the article linked below).
Relevant Mascagni.org resources:
Sunday, October 12, 2008 (updated Tuesday, December 2, 2008)
The illustrious Venice opera house, Teatro La Fenice
, has announced performances of Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana
on the following dates:
- Thursday, December 11, 2009 at 7 PM
- Saturday, December 13, 2009 at 3:30 PM
- Tuesday, December 16, 2009 at 7 PM
- Thursday December 18, 2009 at 7 PM
- Saturday, December 20, 2009 at 3:30 PM
What's interesting is that unlike the usual pairing with Leoncavallo's Pagliacci
, Cavalleria rusticana
will be performed alongside Leoš Janáček's Šárka.
The cast will be as follows:
- Conductor: Eliahu Inbal
- Santuzza: Anna Smirnova
- Turiddu: Walter Fraccaro
- Orchestra and chorus: Teatro La Fenice
- Chorus master: Claudio Marino Moretti
- Mise en scène: Ermanno Olmi
- Sets: Arnaldo Pomodoro
- Costumes: Maurizio Millenotti
References:Update: This blog initially announced that the performances would take place in December 2008. They will instead take place
in December 2009.
Sunday, October 5, 2008 (updated Sunday, October 5, 2008)
Six performances of Mascagni's Amica
will take place in the coming days in Rome: Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8, Thursday 9 and Friday 10 at 8:30 PM, Saturday 11 at
6 PM, and Sunday October 12 at 5 PM.
Contrary to what was thought earlier, the work will be given in the original French with Italian supertitles, which is excellent
news as Mascagni composed the music directly to the French libretto by Choudens. Only later was the libretto translated to
Italian, in a translation which I think is quite coarse.
The last time the opera was performed in Rome was on May 13, 1905, in the Italian version, conducted by Mascagni himself,
as he took the habit of conducting his own works early in the career.
is one of the least performed Mascagni operas, especially in French. It is therefore encouraging to see renewed interest
in this extremely interesting work (with "echoes of Wagner, Mahler and Ravel" according to Antonino Fogliani), after the performances
in French at Martina Franca in 2007. The upcoming performances in the beautiful setting of the Rome opera house promise higher
quality and will hopefully do justice to the work.
The cast will be as follows:
- Conductor: Antonino Fogliani
- Amica: Amarilli Nizza / Patrizia Orciani
- Giorgio: Enrique Ferrer / Maurizio Comencini
- Rinaldo: Alberto Mastromarino / Angelo Veccia
- Padron Camoine: Marcello Lippi
- Maddalena: Lucia Mastromarino
- Orchestra and chorus of the Rome opera
- Chorus master: Andrea Giorgi
- Mise en scène: Jean Louis Grinda
- Sets: Rudy Sabounghi
- Teresa Acone: costumes
- Laurent Castaingt: lights
These performances are co-produced with Opéra di Montecarlo and Teatro Carlo Goldoni of Livorno.
Monday, September 29, 2008 (updated Monday, September 29, 2008)
I just got this pretty nice card, which features a scene from Cavalleria rusticana
. It bears the number 28, and was part of a series of trading cards distributed with Guérin-Boutron chocolate boxes. I found
a reference online to a series of 78 cards dedicated to music composers, and this one was probably part of that set.
Compare with these other cards
, especially this one
distributed with Suchard cacao.
Thursday, September 18, 2008 (updated Thursday, September 18, 2008)
I just found out
that conductor Alberto Veronesi will conduct L'amico Fritz
at the Berlin Opera
on September 20 and 22, in concert form. The most interesting part is that the protagonists will be sung by Roberto Alagna
and Angela Gheorghiu, who already performed L'amico Fritz
at least once in Monte Carlo in 1999 already.
Thursday, June 26, 2008 (updated Monday, December 8, 2008)
Steven Ritter has written a new review of the recently published Zanetto recording
(with Jennifer Larmore, conducted by Peter Tiboris) at Audiophile Audition. Overall the reviewer loves the opera and he writes
"I have a great deal of trouble imaging the title role sung better than Larmore does here."
Indeed I think that Larmore is the best part of this recording. It is a shame that Eilana Lappalainen, as Sylvia, was not
up to the challenge.
Sunday, June 8, 2008 (updated Monday, December 8, 2008)
The Rome Opera now has all the information
about the August 2008 performances of Amica
. The cast is as follows:
Amica: Amarilli Nizza / Patrizia Orciani
Rinaldo: Piero Giugliacci / Claudio Di Segni
Giorgio: Alberto Mastromarino / Angelo Veccia
Orchestra and chorus of Rome Teatro dell'Opera
Conductor: Antonino Fogliani
Chorus master: Andrea Giorgi
Staging: Jean Louis Grinda
Sets: Rudy Sabounghi
Costumes: Teresa Acone
Tuesday, 7 October 2008 at 20.30
Wednesday, 8 October at 20.30
Thursday, 9 October at 20.30
Friday, 10 October at 20.30
Saturday, 11 October at 18.00
Sunday, 12 October at 17.00
This will be a new production and the opera will be performed in Italian, instead of the original and better French.
Saturday, May 31, 2008 (updated Saturday, June 7, 2008)
I recently got the following from Murray Dahm in Sydney:
"I thought you would like to know that I will be teaching a course on the operas of Mascagni in Sydney, Australia starting
this October. It will run for 7 two hour sessions over seven weeks and examine all the operas, Si, and the orchestral, song and minor works that I have located. The courses I run are for the WEA (Workers Education Association)
and generally have 40 students (mostly retirees) per course"
If anybody around Sydney has any interest, please contact me and I will put you in touch with Murray.
[ More news » ]
Cavalleria Rusticana in 100 Words
Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) is Mascagni's most famous
opera and is part of todays mainstream opera repertoire. It made 26 years old Mascagni
instantly world-famous in 1890 when it won the opera contest of music publisher Sonzogno
in Italy. Cav launched the so-called verismo movement in opera and inspired
such works as Leoncavallos Pagliacci. The libretto, based on a short story by
famed Sicilian writer Giovanni Verga, tells of the story a young Sicilian man, Turiddu,
who is unfaithful to his fiancée Santuzza, because he is in love with his ex-girlfriend,
the now married Lola. When Santuzza discovers Turiddus infidelity, she reveals it out
of spite to Lolas husband, Alfio, who provokes a duel with Turiddu and kills
[ Libretto » | Short Story » | Recordings » | Other Works » ]
Play the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni's
most famous piece) performed by the Fulda Symphonic Orchestra conducted by
Play the Fantasia sulla Cavalleria Rusticana for piano composed and
performed by Calogero Di Liberto (with the kind permission of the artist
and Casa Sonzogno).
|[ More Audio Files » ]
This photo was taken on the Philadelphia in 1902. On the
picture: Mascagni, his wife, miss Frohman, sister of Carlo and
Daniele Frohman, American impresari, miss Herz, sister of
theater architect Herz, and Giuseppe Smith. The original text
read: Mascagni, la moglie, miss Frohman, sorella di Carlo e
Daniele Frohman noti impresari teatrali americani e miss Hertz
sorella dell'architetto teatrale Herz e il sig. Giuseppe Smith,
a bordo del vapore Philadelphia (in mezzo all'Atlantico) della
American Line (fot. di miss Herz).
World First Recording of In Filanda Released
December 7, 2005
Italian label Bongiovanni has just released the world first recording of In
Filanda. The recording, from a performance of April 6, 2003 in Naples, Italy,
features Rossella Redoglia as Ninetta, Massimiliano Fichera as the manager of the
factory, Antonio de Palma as Beppo, and I Solisti di Napoli under the baton of Susanna
Soundtrack of Raging Bull Released
November 9, 2005
The soundtrack of the movie Raging Bull, which features three pieces by
Mascagni, has just been released.
New CD of Messa di Gloria
February 23, 2005
A new CD of Messa di Gloria
been released on label Fonit Cetra. Tenor Stefano Secco and baritone Cosimo Diano are
conducted by Claudio Scimone.
New CD with Mascagni tenor arias
January 11, 2005
Rolando Villazón's new CD (released in 2004) features two arias by Mascagni: Ed
anche Beppe amò... O Amore, o bella luce del cor
from L'amico Fritz
, and Vergine muse... Quando al soave
New DVD of Zanetto
November 29, 2004
A new DVD of Zanetto
has been released on label
Kicco. The DVD is from a live November 2003 performance in Savona, Italy. Denia
Mazzola Gavazzeni and Romina Basso are conducted by Bruno Aprea. The DVD also includes a
concert with Denia Mazzola Gavazzeni as well as interviews.
Poetry and Music: Pietro Mascagni's Parisina
February 11, 2006
The author begins with a review of the CD from the performance of
Parisina that took place in Montpellier in July 1999. He follows with
considerations about the opera, discussing in particular the criticisms that
have historically been directed at the work. He concludes with comments about
the unfortunate attitude some critics have today when writing about opera.
Le avventure di Mascagni in America. Il giro trionfale della Duse negli Stati Uniti.
November 12, 2005
This article was published in L'Illustrazione Italiana of March 1, 1903.
The author, Carlo Paladini, tells of how he met by chance at a Florence
restaurant Mr. Joseph Smith, a manager involved with Mascagni's arrest during
his US tour, and also manager of Eleonora Duse. Follows a fairly unstructured
conversation where the author tries to obtain useful information from a fairly
secretive and defensive Mr. Smith. The article features a photograph of
Mascagni, his wife, and Mr. Smith aboard the Philadelphia on the way to
the United States.
Le Maschere - CD Review
October 11, 2004
Yonel Buldrini reviews with enthusiasm the recent release of a 2-CD set of
Le Maschere published on label Kicco, from a performance recorded live in
Livorno in 2001.
Mascagni's New Opera, Parisina
August 15, 2004
In this article from 1913, Emil Thieben describes the high anticipation
generated in Italy by Mascagni's latest opera, Parisina. After a detailed
synopsis of the plot, he gives his impression of the premiere of the opera,
mainly from a musical standpoint.
The Unjustly Neglected Works of Pietro Mascagni
August 8, 2004
William Schoell offers in this article a survey of Mascagni's operatic output, from
Cavalleria Rusticana to Nerone, highlighting Mascagni's taste for
[ More articles » ]