Mascagni, Pietro

BORN 7 Dec 1863, Livorno, Toscana - DIED 2 Aug 1945, Roma, Lazio: Grand Hotel Plaza
GRAVE LOCATION Livorno, Toscana: Cimitero della Misericordia, Via dell'Ardenza

Pietro Mascani was the son of a baker, Domenico Mascagni from Livorno. Giovanni Targioni-Tozzeti was born in the same year in Livorno and would become his lifelong collaborator and friend. He studied music under Alfredo Soffredini and in 1879 he started writing his own works. His cantata "In Filanda" was performed in 1881 and won a first prize in Milan. He entered the conservatory in Milan in 1882 and in Milan he met Puccini.

He didn't finish his studies in Milan but started touring as an operetta conductor. In 1886 he started owrking with impresario Luigi Maresca. He met his future wife Lina Carbognani around that time. In 1888 he was appointed master of music of the new orchestra of Cerignola. On 3 February 1889 he married Lina and their son Domenico was born the next day.

In 1890 his first opera "Cavalleria Rusticana" was staged in Rome and it was extremely successful. It was performed all over Italy and in December Gustav Mahler conducted it in Budapest. Munic, Vienna and Buenos Aires followed. He wrote 14 more operas and some of them were successful, but they never equalled "Cavalleria Rusticana".

In 1900 he toured Moscow and st. Petersburg and after Verdi died he conducted Verdi's "Requiem" in Vienna. In 1902 and 1903 he toured in the USA and in Canada, but he only met with success in San Francisco. In 1903 he was appointed director of the Scuola Musicale Romana in Rome. In 1905 he quarreled with both Ruggiero Leoncavallo and Giacomo Puccini. On 4 april 1910 he started a relationship with the chorus singer Anna Lolli and October of that year he made up with Puccini. He would divide his time between his family and Anna until his death. He resigned his directorship in Rome in 1911. His "Isabeau" was premiered simultaneously at La Fenice in Venice and at La Scala in Milan. When "Parsina" premiered in Milan on 15 December 1912 all important Italian composers were there.

Like Puccini he was opposed to the involvement of Italy in the First World War in which his son Dino was taken prisoner. In 1922 he toured South America for the second time. In 1927 he moved to the Grand Hotel Plaza in Rome and there he lived until his death. As a hommage to Puccini he conducted "La bohème" in Torre del Lago in 1930. In 1936 Dino died in Somalia. In 1940 the fiftieth anniversary of "Cavalleria rusticana" was celebrated in Italy. In 1943 he conducted "L'amico Fritz" at the Scala. It was his last performance in Milan and he had to sit on chair. After that he performed at the opera in Rome before he died in August 1945. He was buried at the Campo Verano cemetery in Rome. In 1951 his remains were transferred to his native Livorno. There is also a memorial for him at the Famedio in Montenero, Livorno.

Related persons
• was painted by Corcos, Vittorio Matteo
• knew Radecke, Robert

17/5/1890First performance of Mascagni's opera "Cavalleria rusticana". The performance took place in the Teatro Costanzi in Rome and was a great success. 
22/11/1898Premiere of Mascagni's opera "Iris" in Rome. The opera was often compared to "Madame Butterfly" by Puccini. Mascagni was the conductor. Hariclea Darclée was Iris and Fernando de Lucia was Osaka. Other performers included Guglielmo Caruson and Fausta Labia. 


The grave of Pietro Mascagni at the Cimitero della Misericordia, Livorno.
Picture by Androom (17 Feb 2018)


The grave of Pietro Mascagni at the Cimitero della Misericordia, Livorno.
Picture by Androom (17 Feb 2018)


Cavalleria rusticana - Wikipedia
Pietro Mascagni - Wikipedia

Maserati, Alfieri

Published: 10 Mar 2019
Last update: 02 Apr 2022