Opera Scotland

Ruggero Leoncavallo Suggest updates

Born Naples, 23 April 1857.

Died Montecatini, 9 August 1919.

Italian composer.

Leoncavallo was one of a group of promising Italians lined up at a time when managements and publishers were desperately seeking a successor to the incomparable Verdi. He struggled to get his early work performed, and I Medici, a major composition which he spent years on, was only performed once he became established. His first great success, Pagliacci, not only launched him on the international stage, but solved a second problem, in providing a companion work for Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. As with that young rival, however, he never quite recovered from this initial success, and nothing in his later work matched that achievement. Even worse, he chose Murger's Scènes de la vie de Bohème as a subject, and prepared his own libretto, only to discover that Puccini had picked the same subject. We know who won that rivalry. In his later years he attempted to compose operettas, following the model of Lehàr, but without particular distinction.

Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold:-

01   Chatterton (1876; prod Rome 1896) (cpsr)

01   I Medici (c1880; Milan 1894) (cpsr)

03   Pagliacci (Milan 1892) (cpsr)                                                                                    

04   La bohème (Venice 1897, rev Palermo 1913) (cpsr)

05   Zazà (Milan 1900) (cpsr)

06   Der Roland von Berlin (Berlin 1904) (cpsr, trans Droescher)

07   La Jeunesse de Figaro (USA 1908) (Sardou)

08   Maja (Rome 1910) (Choudens)

09   Malbruk (Rome 1910) (Nessi)

10   La reginetta delle rose (Rome & Naples 1912) (Forzano)

11   Zingari (London 1912) (Cavacchioli & Emanuel)

12   Are you there? (London 1913) (de Courville)

13   La candidata (Rome & Turin 1915) (Forzano)

14   Goffredo Mameli (Genoa 1916) (Belvederi)

15   Prestanni tua moglie (Montecatini 1916) (Corradi)

16   A chi la giarrettiera (Rome 1919) (Corradi)

17   Edipo re (Chicago 1920) (Forzano)

18   Il primo bacio (Montecatini 1923) (Bonelli)

19   La maschera nuda (Naples 1925) (Paolieri & Bonelli)

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