Pietro Mascagni

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Mascagni, Pietro

(pyā`trō mäskä`nyē), 1863–1945, Italian operatic composer. He is known for his opera Cavalleria rusticana (1890), based on the tale by Giovanni VergaVerga, Giovanni
, 1840–1922, Italian novelist, b. Sicily. He abandoned the study of law for literature and wrote several novels of passion in the style of the French realists. His later works, written in a different style, are marked by simplicity and strict accuracy.
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; it is a classic example of the style of realism known as verismo. His other operas were less successful.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mascagni, Pietro


Born Dec. 7, 1863, in Leghorn; died Aug. 2, 1945, in Rome. Italian composer.

Mascagni studied at the Milan Conservatory under A. Ponchielli and M. Saladino. In 1885 he began conducting at opera and operetta theaters. From 1895 to 1902 he was the director of the Pesaro Conservatory. Mascagni gained worldwide fame with his opera Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry, 1890, Costanzi Theater, Rome), which was based on a play by G. Verga. This work and Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci initiated a new direction in opera—the Italian school of verismo, or realism. Mascagni wrote the operas Iris (1898, Rome), Parisina (1913, Milan), and II piccolo Marat (1921, Rome). He also composed operettas, orchestral works, and music for films.


Pompei, E. P. Mascagni nella vita e nell’arte. Rome, 1912.
Cellamare, D. Mascagni … Rome, 1941.
Anselmi, A. Pietro Mascagni. Milan, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.