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Ruggiero Leoncavallo

Born: 23rd April 1857, Naples, Italy

Died: 9th August 1919, Montecatini Terme, Italy

Nationality: Italian

Ruggero (or Ruggiero) Leoncavallo was an Italian opera composer and librettist. Although he produced numerous operas and other songs throughout his career it is his opera Pagliacci (1892) that remained his lasting contribution, despite attempts to escape the shadow of his greatest success.

Today he remains largely known for Pagliacci, one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the opera repertory. His other compositions include the song "Mattinata", popularized by Enrico Caruso, and the symphonic poem La Nuit de mai.

Further Reading: Leoncavallo

Interview, Carlo Rizzi on Mercadante, Leoncavallo and Donizetti

The Italian conductor looks back on his first few years as Artistic Director of Opera Rara, including recordings of Leoncavallo's Zingari and Mercadante's Il Proscritto - plus a new mission to record the complete Donizetti songs with singers including Lawrence Brownlee and William Thomas.

Recording of the Week, Leoncavallo's Zingari on Opera Rara

Carlo Rizzi conducts a scintillating account of the Pushkin-inspired one-act opera from 1912, starring Krassimira Stoyanova and Arsen Soghomonyan.

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