Opera Scotland


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Pietro Mascagni (born Livorno, 7 December 1863; died Rome, 2 August 1945)


Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti & Guido Menasci.


Play Le passant (1869) by François Coppée.



First Performance: Pesaro (Liceo Musicale Rossini), 2 March 1896.

First Performance in UK: London (Holland Park), 26 June 2012.

First Performance in Scotland: Haddington (St Mary's Parish Church), 20 September 2019.

Scottish Opera premiere: as above.



Zanetto was initially intended as an attempt to provide a romantic companion piece for Cavalleria, and employed the same librettists, The relationship of ageing beauty and handsome youth is perhaps reminiscent of the Marschallin and Octavia (fifteen years in the future). Holland Park paired it with Gianni Schicchi. Scottish Opera will pair it with another two-hander, Susanna's Secret.



Silvia, a courtesan (soprano)

Zanetto, a wandering minstrel (mezzo-soprano)


Plot Summary

The opera is set in Silvia's villa outside mediaeval Florence. She is wealthy and attractive, but bored. She receives a visitor, a young poet, Zanetto, and is immediately attracted to his youthfulness. However she is hurt that he does not recognise her as the beautiful Silvia, and lets him go on his way.

The Cast

 a beautiful courtesan
 a young poet and minstrel

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