Mascagni – one of the representatives of operatic faith. This direction arose under the influence of Italian literature and theater of the late XIX century. Heroes from the social lower classes, from the underprivileged and the poor, unreasoned life conflicts and human destinies, clashes of passions and characters – these are the distinguishing signs of verism in different areas of art. The lack of great ideas and a touch of melodramaticism limited, however, the historical significance of this trend. The characteristic features of the verism embodied in Mascani’s first opera “Rural honor” (“Village knighthood”, 1890), made his name famous.
Pietro Mascagni was born on December 7, 1863 in Livorno. After completing his musical education at the Milan Conservatory, where his teacher was A. Ponkilli – author of the opera “La Gioconda”, Mascagni for several years worked as a bandmaster and city music director in Cherignol. After the success of Rural Honor, he was appointed director of the musical lyceum in Pesaro, and then director of the National Music School in Rome. In addition to Rural Honor, Mascagni created 14 operas and one operetta (The Friend of Fritz, 1891, William Ratcliffe, 1895, Iris, 1898, The Masks, 1901, etc., the latter, Nero, was written in 1935). They, however, did not become repertoire. The best pages of the music of this composer are characterized by emotional sincerity and temperamental strength,
Mascagni died on August 2, 1945 in Rome.