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Ruggiero LEONCAVALLO
23 April 1857 - 9 August 1919 (age 62)

Leoncavallo is one of the 'one hit wonders' of the world of opera. His one act opera 'Pagliacci' is consistently in the top 20 of opera performances, usually paired with Mascagni's 'Cavalleria Rusticana'.

Family

Works

Quotes

Links

portrait of Leoncavallo

Family

Born: 8 March 1857, Naples, Italy
Father: Vincenzo, police magistrate
Mother: Virginia D'Auria from a Neapolitan artistic family
Siblings: 2 brothers - Leone and Gastone
Wife: Marie Bertha Jean Rambaud, singer
Children: none
Died: Montecatini Terme, Tuscany. 9 August 1919.
Grave: Cimitero Monumentale Delle Porte Sante, Florence, Italy


Works

10 operas including:
- Pagliacci
- I Medici
- La Bohème
- Zazà

vocal works including:
- 10 operettas
- a Requiem
- various songs
some piano works
some orchestral works

He was also a talented librettist writing the librettos for his own operas and also for others. Some consider him the greatest Italian librettist.

Poster from zazzle (click on image)



Recitar!... Vesti la Giubba (Pagliacci)
Placido Domingo


Quotes

- "When I need the idea, I can find it immediately. I have a horror of rewriting or deleting; the parts of my composition are carried in my head 'till I can write them down, even to the last note. Then I do not alter a jot."

- "This new art made a deep impression on me, and I began to study it ardently."

- “I find it quite impossible to set to music somebody else's words. I do not understand how any really artistic work can be created in that way. With me words and notes are simultaneous; at least, while I am writing the text, the scaffolding, the framework of the music is going up. The phrasing, the elaboration come afterward.”


World's first recording to sell 1 million copies

In 1907 the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso recorded on the Victrola label "Vesti la giubba" from "Pagliacci".

The video below is of the actual record being played.

The photo (courtesy Wikipedia) is of Caruso playing a "Victrola" phonograph.


Mattinata
Andrea Boccelli at the Coliseum, Rome


Edipo Re


ZINGARI Intermezzo


Leoncavallo's La BOHÈME
written at the same time as Puccini's version which completely overshadowed it.


Pagliacci
a video of the whole performance (1hr 28min)
Teatro San Carlo


Links - and where to go for more information

- Music with Ease a brief bography

- Wikipedia

- Leoncavallo Festival
www.leoncavallofestival.com

-Italian Composers - more profiles here at 52composers
www.52composers.com/italian-composers.html


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12 ITALIAN COMPOSERS
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Here are links to the Italian composers on this site:

Bellini
Corelli
Donizetti
Gesualdo
Leoncavallo
Mascagni
Monteverdi
Palestrina (coming soon)
Pergolesi
Puccini
Rossini
Verdi
Vivaldi



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