It was on this date, December 7, 1863, that Italian composer Pietro Mascagni was born in Livorno. Today, he is chiefly remembered as composer of Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry), his one-act opera written, as he put it, for the heart and not the head. Mascagni’s opera was not only popular in its day — it premiered on 17 May 1890 at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, when Mascagni was Director of the Rossini Conservatory at Pesaro — but it is still performed to this day.
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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.