Italian composer and librettist Ruggero Leoncavallo was born in Naples on 23 April 1857. He studied at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples and at Bologna University. As a young man, he worked in Cairo for several years as a pianist and piano teacher, and then in Paris as an accompanist and instructor, before returning to Italy.
Leoncavallo observed the huge success of Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana in 1890, and shortly afterwards composed Pagliacci, the work for which he is best known, claiming that the plot was based on a murder trial over which his father had presided.
Ruggero Leoncavallo died in Montecatini Terme on 9 August 1919, aged sixty-two.
Spotlight. Dramatic and Passionate - Gerald Fenech ardently recommends extracts from operas in the Italian verismo tradition. 'Hindoyan gets superb playing from his Liverpudlians, and the white-hot streak of the music is delivered with unabashed virtuosity.'
Ensemble. A Bloody Story of Jealousy - Giuseppe Pennisi witnesses great success for Franco Zeffirelli's return to Rome
CD Spotlight. Caruso 150 - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Urania Records' new Caruso tribute album. 'One of the first major singing talents to be commercially recorded ...'
Ensemble. Three Divas - Maria Nockin reviews a streamed recital from Versailles, given by Ailyn Pérez, Nadine Sierra, Isabel Leonard, Vlad Iftinca and Pablo Sáinz-Villegas
CD Spotlight. A Jewel Box of Opera Rarities - Giuseppe Pennisi explores a CD set marking the Orfeo International label's first forty years. '... at least two masterpieces emerge ...'
Ensemble. Appreciation of Nature - Maria Nockin reviews a 'Met Stars' online concert from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, featuring Anna Netrebko, Elena Maximova and Pavel Nebolsin
Classical music news. Singing in Cars? - Classical Music Daily's February 2021 Newsletter has just been published as a video podcast
Ensemble. A Soothing Balm on our Troubled Time - Maria Nockin connects to Renée Fleming and Robert Ainsley's Metropolitan Opera recital from the Dumbarton Oaks Museum music salon in Washington DC
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Ensemble. Protests in Rome - A mixed reception for 'Cav and Pag' at Teatro dell'Opera, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Autumn Trilogy - Giuseppe Pennisi writes about three operas on the brink of the twentieth century, performed as a cycle in Ravenna
Ensemble. Verismo Hokum - Opera North's 'Cav and Pag' in Nottingham, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Somewhat Uneven - Cav and Pag in HD from Metropolitan Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. An Interesting Idea - Opera North's 'From Paris with Love', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Extraordinary Performance - 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and 'Pagliacci' at Arizona Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Fiery Drama - 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and 'I Pagliacci' at New Zealand Opera, enjoyed by Howard Smith
DVD Spotlight. Blocks of Snow - 'Cavalleria rusticana' and 'Pagliacci', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... not always marooned in frozen wastes.'
DVD Spotlight. A Disparate Experiment - 'Aria - Special Edition', reviewed by Howard Smith. 'You never know what you're gonna get.'
Ensemble. For King, Country and Sex - Marco Tutino's 'Senso', experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Opera in the Arena - Rebecca Schmid listens to Renée Fleming and the Berlin Philharmonic
Ensemble. White Hot Intensity - Renée Fleming and the Russian National Orchestra at the Festival of the Arts Boca 2010, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Inhibited by Cleverness - 'Cav and Pag' at English National Opera, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Artful Phrasing - 'La bohème' at Los Angeles Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Infectious Verve - Puccini's 'La bohème' in New Hampshire, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Verismo al fresco - Malcolm Miller enjoys Opera Holland Park's double bill of 'Suor Angelica' and 'I Pagliacci'
Moldovan magic - Roderic Dunnett raves about Chisinau National Opera's 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and 'Pagliacci' (continued from yesterday)
Moldovan magic - Roderic Dunnett raves about Chisinau National Opera's 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and 'Pagliacci'