Pietro Mascagni

Pietro Mascagni ( born December 7, 1863 in Livorno; † August 2, 1945 in Rome ) was an Italian composer who is next to Ruggero Leoncavallo and Giacomo Puccini one of the most important representatives of verismo with his operas.


After his father, a baker desire Mascagni should have been a lawyer against his will, but his uncle saved him by adoption before, and he could begin to study music. His first works were quite successful, what the father reconciled with the career choice of the son. Although he was promoted by a noble patron, excellent teachers ( Amilcare Ponchielli ) and Giacomo Puccini had a competent friend, he interrupted his studies, which seemed to dry him off and joined a traveling opera troupe on.

In 1885 he had himself engaged as conductor of the small urban orchestra in Cerignola, where he could earn enough to live. Besides, he composed diligent great operas: 1888 was Guglielmo Ratcliff ( after Heinrich Heine; libretto by Andrea Maffei ) completed, but could inspire no impresario and 1889 he took part in a one-act opera Cavalleria rusticana opera competition of the Italian music publisher Sonzogno. The opera was awarded the first prize and was at its premiere a year later one of the greatest achievements in music history.

Overnight Mascagni had become the star of the Italian opera scene and enjoyed the suddenly acquired fame and fortune. His next opera, L' amico Fritz ( from a novel by Erckmann - Chatrian ) was quickly composed, but was taken up rather disappointed. The same thing happened to him with the aforementioned Guglielmo Ratcliff, which was premiered in 1895 with great success. He wrote more operas, which were indeed appreciated by connoisseurs, which konstatierten a refinement of his personal style, but with the general public and for posterity Cavalleria Rusticana remained the unrivaled genius of the composer.

In 1902 he traveled to the United States, later he brought his works to South America. The growing success of his friend Giacomo Puccini he pursued with great jealousy, and in 1911 he claimed the time of Verismo was at an end.

In 1917 he witnessed the successful Lodoletta in Rome a resurgence of his fame, but financially he had already with the royalties for Cavalleria until his death no worries. He spent his final years, half clouded by the political events in a hotel room in Rome. Pietro Mascagni was among other things a teacher by Riccardo Zandonai.

His music " Raging Bull " (1980 ) is used with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in the movie classic. In addition, the opera Cavalleria rusticana plays a supporting role in the film The Godfather - Part III. The last 15 minutes are backed by the sounds of the finale of the opera. The final scene and the epic conclusion to the trilogy are accompanied by the sounds of intermezzo.


  • Cavalleria rusticana, premiere: Rome May 17, 1890
  • L' amico Fritz, premiere: Rome October 31, 1891
  • I Rantzau Premiere: Florence November 10, 1892
  • Guglielmo Ratcliff, Premiere: Milan February 16, 1895
  • Silvano, Premiere: Milan March 25, 1895
  • Zanetto: the premiere of Pesaro March 2, 1896
  • Iris premiere: Rome, November 22, 1898
  • Le Maschere Premiere: Milan, Genoa, Turin, Rome, Venice, Verona January 17, 1901
  • Amica: the premiere of Monaco ( only opera Mascagni in French) March 16, 1905
  • Isabeau: the premiere of Buenos Aires June 2, 1911
  • Parisina, Premiere: Milan December 15, 1913
  • Lodoletta, premiere: Rome April 30, 1917
  • Si, premiere: Rome December 14, 1919
  • Il piccolo Marat, premiere: Rome May 2, 1921
  • Pinotta, Premiere: San Remo March 23, 1932
  • Nerone, Premiere: Milan January 16, 1935