opera by Pietro Mascagni

About Performance


Easter dawns in a Sicilian village. Turiddu is heard in the distance singing about Lola, wife of the prosperous carter Alfio (“O Lola, bianca come fior di spino”). Townsfolk and fieldworkers mingle in the piazza, then disperse. Santuzza approaches Mamma Lucia’s tavern looking for her son Turiddu; the old woman says he is away buying wine. Alfio arrives with his friends, boasting of his horses—and of his new wife, Lola (“Il cavallo scalpita”). He leaves as the villagers follow a procession to mass. Santuzza, who is unwilling to enter the church, stays behind to tell Mamma Lucia that Turiddu has abandoned her for his old flame, Lola (“Voi lo sapete”). The old woman leaves for mass, and Santuzza confronts Turiddu (“Tu qui, Santuzza?”). Lola saunters in, infuriating Santuzza with her brazen arrogance. Lola enters the church, and Santuzza resumes her pleading, but Turiddu refuses to listen. Pushing her to the ground, he runs into the church. Santuzza curses him. When Alfio arrives, Santuzza reveals that his wife has been cheating on him. Alfio swears to get even and rushes off, followed by the now conscience-stricken Santuzza.

The villagers exit the church and join Turiddu in a drinking song, but the atmosphere becomes tense when Alfio appears, insulting Turiddu and challenging him to a knife fight. Turiddu admits his guilt but will go through with the fight, for Santuzza’s sake as well as for honor. Alone with his mother, Turiddu thanks her for the wine and begs her to take care of Santuzza if he doesn’t come back (“Mamma, quel vino”). As Mamma Lucia waits anxiously in the piazza, shouts are heard in the distance. A woman runs in screaming that Turiddu has been killed.
Taken from

(1863-1945) is one of the most important Italian composers of the turn of the 20th century. The formidable success of his first masterpiece in 1890, Cavalleria Rusticana, unfortunately eluded many of his following works. Mascagni however wrote 15 operas, an operetta, several beautiful orchestral and vocal works, as well as songs and piano music. He enjoyed amazing operatic successes during his lifetime, and at the same time pursued a very successful career of conductor. Mascagni's approach to opera differed a lot from that of his friend and rival Puccini, which arguably was one of the factors that led to an under-appreciation of the value of his music by critics. Operas:
Cavalleria Rusticana, 1890 (May 17, 1890, Teatro Costanzi, Roma)
L'amico Fritz, 1891 (October 31, 1891, Teatro Costanzi, Roma)
I Rantzau, 1892 (November 10, 1892, Teatro della Pergola, Florence)
Guglielmo Ratcliff, 1895 (February 16, 1895, Teatro alla Scala, Milan)
Silvano, 1895 (March 25, 1895, Teatro alla Scala, Milan)
Zanetto, 1896 (March 2, 1896, Liceo Musicale G. Rossini, Pesaro)
Iris, 1898 (November 22, 1898, Teatro Costanzi, Roma)
Le maschere,    1901 (January 17, 1901, Teatro alla Scala, Milan; Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa; Teatro Regio, Turin; Teatro Costanzi, Rome; Teatro La Fenice, Venice; Teatro Filarmonico, Verona)
Amica,    1905 (March 16, 1905, Théâtre du Casino, Monte Carlo Opera)
Isabeau, 1911 (June 2, 1911    Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires)
Parisina, 1913     (December 15, 1913, Teatro alla Scala, Milan)
Lodoletta, 1917 (April 30, 1917, Teatro Costanzi, Rome)
Il piccolo Marat, 1921 (May 2, 1921, Teatro Costanzi, Rome)
Pinotta, 1932 (March 23, 1932, Teatro del Casino, San Remo)
Nerone, 1935 (January 16, 1935, Teatro alla Scala, Milan)
Taken from

1863: December 7 - Birth in Livorno of Pietro Antonio Stefano, second son of Domenico and Emilia Mascagni. The father was the owner of a bakery. The same year was born in Livorno Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti ("Nanni"), friend and collaborator of Mascagni during all his life.

1870 - 1879
1873: Emilia Mascagni dies from tuberculosis.
1875: Alfredo Soffredini (1854-1923), having just completed his musical studies in Milan, founds the Istituto Musicale di Livorno (later called Istituto Cherubini). From Livorno himself, Soffredini was a composer, teacher and musical critic.
1876: Mascagni begins musical studies with Alfredo Soffredini.
1879: Sinfonia in do minore, Elegia, Kyrie, Gloria and Ave Maria.

1880 - 1889
1881: Mascagni composes his first cantata, In Filanda, whose première takes place at the Istituto Cherubini on 9 February. The cantata is presented at a musical contest in Milan and wins the first prize. In Milan, Mascagni meets Arrigo Boito and Amilcare Ponchielli.
1882: Cantata Alla Gioia, from a text by Schiller. La stella di Garibaldi, for voice and piano. La tua stella. May 6 - Mascagni leaves Livorno for Milan. October 12 - Mascagni passes the admission examination of the Conservatorio di Milano. In Milan, Mascagni meets the engineer Vittorio Gianfranceschi ("Vichi"), born in Vienna in 1861, and Giacomo Puccini, born in Lucca in 1858.
1883: January 9 - Death of Mascagni's sister, Maria. The cantata In Filanda becomes Pinotta, and is proposed for the musical contest of the Conservatorio, but the registration, being late, is not accepted.
1884: Ballata for tenor and piano, M'ama non m'ama, scherzo for soprano and piano, Messagio d'amore, Alla luna.
1885: Mascagni conducts Il Re a Napoli in Cremona, romance for tenor and orchestra, on a text by Andrea Maffei. Mascagni leaves Milan without completing his studies. He will tour as conductor in the operetta companies of Vittorio Forlì, Alfonso and Ciro Scognamiglio and, in Genova, the company of Luigi Arnaldo Vassallo.
1886: Mascagni meets the impresario Luigi Maresca. December - Mascagni arrives in Cerignola with Maresca's company. He is accompanied by Argenide Marcellina Carbognani (Lina), his future wife.
1886: Helped by the mayor Giuseppe Cannone, Mascagni leaves the company of Maresca, not without problems, and becomes master of music and singing of the new philharmony of Cerignola, where he will earn a lot of esteem. He will also give lessons of piano.
1888: February - Work on the Messa di Gloria starts. July - Casa Sonzogno announces in the Teatro Illustrato its second competition for a one-act opera.
1889: February 3 - Pietro and Lina get married. February 4 - Birth of Domenico Mascagni ("Mimì"). May 27 - The composition Cavalleria Rusticana is completed and the manuscript sent to Milan.

1890 - 1899
1890: February 21 - Mascagni is summoned to Rome to present his opera. May 17 - Première of Cavalleria Rusticana, winner of the Sonzogno contest, at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. The success is tremendous, and very soon the opera is performed in Florence, Torino, Bologna, Palermo, Milan, Genova, Napoli, Venezia and Trieste. In December, Gustav Mahler conducts the opera in Budapest. Then the cities of Monaco, Hamburg, Petersburg, Dresden and Buenos Aires welcome the opera. In March 1891, it will be played in Wien.
1891: January 3 - Birth of Dino Mascagni. October 31 - Première of L'amico Fritz at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome.
1892: August 21 - Birth of Emi Mascagni. November 10 - Première of I Rantzau at the Teatro La Pergola, in Florence, under the direction of Mascagni himself.
1894: Composition of Silvano.
1895: February 16 - Première of Guglielmo Ratcliff at the Teatro alla Scala of Milan. March 15 - Première of Silvano at the Teatro alla Scala of Milan. Mascagni accepts the direction of the Liceo Rossini of Pesaro.
1896: March 2 - Mascagni conducts the première of Zanetto at the Liceo.
1898: June 29 - Mascagni conducts the première of A Giacomo Leopardi, a symphonic poem, in Recanati. November 22 - Première of Iris, Mascagni's first collaboration with Luigi Illica, at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome.
1899: May - Death of Mascagni's father.

1900 - 1909
1900: Mascagni tours in Russia (Moscow and Petersburg).
1901: January 17 - Première in six Italian theaters of Le Maschere. January 27 - Death of Giuseppe Verdi. February - Mascagni commemorates Verdi's passing. The same year, he conducts Verdi's Requiem in Vienna.
1902: August - Mascagni composes the music for Hall Caine's play, The Eternal City. October 2 - The première of the play with Mascagni's music takes place in London.
1902-1903: Tour in the United States (in particular New York, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco), where Mascagni conducts many of his and other composers' works. The tour is mostly a fiasco, except for the visit to San Francisco.
1903: Mascagni leaves Pesaro after problems with the authorities. He becomes director of the Scuola Musicale Romana, in Rome.
1904: Contract with the french editor Choudens.
1905: March 16 - Première of Amica, libretto by Choudens, in Monte-Carlo. Disputes with Leoncavallo and Puccini.
1908: Livornese première of Le Maschere.
1909: August - Mascagni is director of the Costanzi for the following season.

1910 - 1919
1910: April 4 - Beginning of the relationship with Anna Lolli. October - Reconciliation with Puccini.
1911: Mascagni ceases his activity of director of the Scuola Musicale Romana. May - He leaves for Buenos Aires, beginning a 7 months tour in South America. June 2 - The première of Isabeau takes place in Buenos Aires. Death of Mahler.
1912: The Italian première of Isabeau takes place simultaneously at la Scala in Milan (conductor Tullio Serafin) and at la Fenice in Venezia (conductor Mascagni). March 28 - Work on Parisina begins. Composition of Parisina in Bellevue, near Paris, sometimes with his daughter Emi, his mistress Anna Lolli, and the librettist Gabrielle d'Annunzio.
1913: October - Emi Mascagni marries the musician Guido Farinelli in Rapallo. December 15 - Première of Parisina in Milan. Almost all the important Italian composers of the time are present, among them Puccini, Giordano and Zandonai.
1914: Premières of Parisina in Livorno and Rome. July 28 - Beginning of World War I. Puccini and Mascagni are against the involvement of Italy in this war, where Mascagni's son Dino will be made a prisonner. Luigi Illica is a volonteer for the front.
1915: Music for Nino Oxilia's movie Rapsodia Satanica. Quarrel regarding the rights of Louise de la Ramée's Two Little Wooden Shoes (I due Zoccoletti), that inspired both Puccini and Mascagni. The subject will be retained by Mascagni for Lodoletta.
1917: April 30 - Première of Lodoletta in Rome. July 28 - Livornese première of Lodoletta, with Beniamino Gigli as Flammen.
1919: August 9 - Death of Ruggero Leoncavallo. December 13 - Première of Sì, Mascagni's operetta, in Rome. December 20 - Funeral ceremony for death of Luigi Illica.

1920 - 1929
1920: Composition of Il Piccolo Marat.
1921: May 2 - Première of Il Piccolo Marat in Rome. September - Première in Buenos Aires.
1922: May - Beginning of a tour in South America.
1923: Visione Lirica. Death of Alfredo Soffredini in Milan.
1924: Death of Giacomo Puccini.
1926: Première of Puccini's Turandot.
1927: Mascagni moves to the Albergo Plaza in Rome, a place he will not leave until his death.

1930 - 1939
1930: Mascagni conducts La Bohème in Torre del Lago, an homage to Puccini.
1931: Le Maschere at La Scala.
1932: March 23 - Première of Pinotta in San Remo. Official membership in the PNF (fascist party).
1934: May 30 - Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti dies.
1935: January 16 - Première of Nerone in Milan. August 24 - Première in Livorno.
1936: June - Death of Dino Mascagni in Somalia.

1940 - 1949
1940: Celebration of the fifty years of Cavalleria Rusticana. The opera is recorded in studio under the direction of Mascagni.
1943: April - Last appearance of Mascagni at La Scala for L'amico Fritz.
1943-1944: Last season of Mascagni at the Opera di Roma (Cavalleria Rusticana, L'amico Fritz).
1945: August 2 - At 7h15, death of Mascagni. August 4 - Funeral ceremony at 10h30. The Italian authorities are not present.

1950 - 1959
1951: The mortal remains of Mascagni are transfered from Rome to Livorno, and finally Mascagni receives an official homage.



Premiere performance

Premiere: 21 January 2006

Main stage

Joint production with Teatro Pergolesi, Jesi, Italy
Opera in one act
Libretto, according to Verga’s play, written by Targioni-Tozzeti and Menasci
First performance in Rome, 17 May 1895
Direction by Ivan Stefanutti revived by Matteo Mazzoni, guest artist
Set Designer Ivan Stefanutti, guest artist
Costume Designer Ivan Stefanutti, guest artist
Lighting Design Roberto Gritti, guest artist
Conductor Andrija Pavlič

Premiere Cast:

Santuzza Jadranka Jovanović
Turiddu Nikola Kitanovski
Lucia, Turiddu’s mother Dubravka Filipović
Alfio, the village teamster Miodrag D. Jovanović
Lola, Alfio’s wife Željka Zdjelar

Other: peasants
Setting: an end of 19th century Sicillian village
Concertmaster Vesna Jovanović
Assistant to the Director Ivana Dragutinović
Assistant Director Dejan Filipović
Assistant Conductor Đorđe Stanković
Music Associates: Nevena Živković, Srđan Jaraković, Nada Matijević
Stage Managers Branislava Pljaskić Ristić, Dejan Filipović
Prompters Biljana Manojlović, Silvija Pec
Assistant Costume Designer Nevenka Milosavljević
Lighting Design Assistant Srđan Mićević
Make-Up Revived by Dragoljub Jeremić
Stage Master Nevenko Radanović
Sound Master Tihomir Savić