- Category : Entertain-Music-Composer/Arranger
- Type : R
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : None
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 1
Italian opera composer. His two-act work Pagliacci remains one of the most popular works in the repertory, appearing as number 20 on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide.
Leoncavallo studied at the Naples Conservatory and subsequently supported himself by giving café concerts and piano and singing lessons. His first operas, Chatterton (after Alfred de Vigny) and I Medici (first part of a projected trilogy inspired by the Italian Renaissance), failed to attract attention. He followed them with Pagliacci, composed in the verismo, or realistic, style of Mascagni. Produced in Milan in 1892, it was an immediate success. His La Bohème (1897) suffered from comparison with Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Zazà (1900) was more successful, but Der Roland (1904), commissioned by Wilhelm II to glorify the Hohenzollerns, was a failure. A number of later works achieved passing success. For most of his operas Leoncavallo was his own librettist and showed a distinct literary ability and a flair for theatrical effect.
He died 9 August 1919, Montecatini Terme, near Florence.