December 7, 1863: 06:30 Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni is born in the family apartment above the bakery on the corner of Piazza della Erbe (Piazza Cavallotti) and Via Sant’Ombono in Livorno, Kingdom of Italy, the second of five children born to Domenico Mascagni, a baker, and Emilia Rebua.
July 5, 1878: The earliest documented composition by Pietro Mascagni (14) is dated today. It is a song entitled Duolo eterno!
February 9, 1881: In Filanda, a cantata by Pietro Mascagni (17) to words of Soffredini, is performed for the first time, in the Casa del Casino di San Marco, Livorno.
January 6, 1882: In Epiphanis Domini for voice and organ by Pietro Mascagni (18) is performed for the first time, in the Church of Santa Caterina, Livorno.
March 27, 1882: Alla gioia, a cantata by Pietro Mascagni (18) to words of Schiller translated by Maffei, is performed for the first time, in Teatro degli Avvalorati, Livorno.
July 28, 1882: Two chamber works by Pietro Mascagni (18) are performed for the first time, at the Istituto Capponi, Livorno: Canzone amorosa for flute, violin, cello, and piano, and Melodia for cello and piano.
October 1, 1882: Pietro Mascagni (18) departs Livorno for Milan once again, this time to enroll at the conservatory.
October 7, 1883: Introito, Alleluja, and Sanctus by Pietro Mascagni (19) are performed for the first time, in the Church of Santa Caterina, Livorno.
May 31, 1884: Le Villi, a leggenda drammatica by Giacomo Puccini (25) to words of Fontana after Karr, is performed for the first time, in the Teatro dal Verme, Milan. The librettist raised money for the production from friends, acquaintances, anonymous donors, musicians, and writers. Watching from the wings is the composer's friend Pietro Mascagni (20). After the performance, Puccini has to borrow enough money to send his mother the following telegram: CLAMOROUS SUCCESS. EIGHTEEN CURTAIN CALLS. FIRST FINALE REPEATED THREE TIMES. AM HAPPY.
October 11, 1884: Il Re a Napoli for tenor and orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (20) to words of Maffei is performed for the first time, in Teatro Goldoni, Livorno.
March 18, 1885: Il re a Napoli, an operetta by Pietro Mascagni (21), is performed for the first time, in Teatro Municipale, Cremona.
April 22, 1885: After three years of study, Pietro Mascagni (21) withdraws from the Milan Conservatory to become assistant conductor of the Castagnetta-Forlì operetta company.
April 22, 1888: Messa di Gloria by Pietro Mascagni (24) is performed for the first time, in Cerignola, by a group of students conducted by the composer.
February 3, 1889: The day before the birth of their second son (the first having died in infancy), Pietro Mascagni (25) and Argenide Carbognani marry in their home in Cerignola. She is the daughter of a tavern owner. See 7 February 1889.
February 7, 1889: Pietro Mascagni (25) and Argenide Carbognani celebrate their religious wedding ceremony in Cerignola Cathedral. Only the couple, priest, and two required witnesses are present. The secrecy is due to the fact that everyone in Cerignola, where they have been living for two years, assumes that they are already married. The bride gave birth three days ago. The groom is in the middle of composing Cavalleria rusticana.
May 27, 1889: Pietro Mascagni (24) sends off the newly completed score of Cavalleria rusticana to Milan where it is to be entered in a composition contest sponsored by the publisher Sonzogno.
December 16, 1889: Two works for orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (26) are performed for the first time, at the Palazzo di Città, Cerignola: Danza Boema and Marcia Militare.
February 21, 1890: After nine months of waiting, Pietro Mascagni (25) receives a telegram informing him that his entry, Cavalleria rusticana, is a finalist in the composition competition sponsored by the publisher Sonzogno. He is summoned to Milan to present the opera to the jury. “Reading the telegram, I cried like a baby.”
March 9, 1890: Nine months after having completed the composition of Cavalleria rusticana, four days after being chosen as a finalist in the Sozogno competition and two months before its production, Pietro Mascagni (26) writes to Giovanni Verga, the original author, asking permission to use his work. He will agree, provided he receive all that he is allowed by law from subsequent productions.
May 17, 1890: Cavalleria rusticana, a melodramma by Pietro Mascagni (26) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti and Menasci after Verga, is performed for the first time, at Teatro Costanzi, Rome. Although the house is only half-full, those in attendance go wild with approval. There are 60 curtain calls. The press is ecstatic. By noon tomorrow, the second performance will be sold out. Mascagni has become famous overnight.
March 7, 1891: Danza esotica for orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (27) is performed for the first time, in Teatro Mercadente, Cerignola.
October 31, 1891: L’amico Fritz, a commedia lirica by Pietro Mascagni (27) to words of Suardon after Erckmann and Chatrian, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Costanzi, Rome. It is a triumph, receiving over 30 curtain calls.
August 2, 1892: Inno per l’esposizione di Palermo for tenor, chorus, and orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (28) to an anonymous text, is performed for the first time, in the Piazza Grande, Livorno.
November 10, 1892: I Rantzau, an opera by Pietro Mascagni (28) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti and Menasci, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Pergola, Florence. It is very successful.
February 9, 1893: Falstaff, a commedia lirica by Giuseppe Verdi (79) to words of Boito (50) after Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Numerous state and musical luminaries are present including Giacomo Puccini (34), Pietro Mascagni (29) and Teresa Stolz. Unlike the premiere of Otello, Verdi, his wife, and Boito manage to make it out of the theatre unscathed, but when they reach the Grand Hôtel de Milan the mob of admirers and well wishers awaits. The three make it into the lobby to be greeted by dignitaries and then appear to the crowds on the balcony. See 5 February 1887.
February 16, 1895: Guglielmo Ratcliff, a tragedia by Pietro Mascagni (31) to words translated by Maffei after Heine, is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the composer conducting. Press and public are favorable, although there is much criticism of the drama.
March 25, 1895: Silvano, a dramma marinaresco by Pietro Mascagni (31) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti after Karr, is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan. The public is positive, and Mascagni is called ten times, but it is not the success of his earlier efforts.
October 12, 1895: In Frankfurt on an extended tour of central Europe, Pietro Mascagni (31) receives word that he is offered the position of director of the Liceo Rossini in Pesaro. He enthusiastically accepts.
February 1, 1896: La bohème, an opera by Giacomo Puccini (37) to words of Illica and Giacosa after Murger, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Regio, Turin. The audience, which includes members of the royal family, Arrigo Boito (53), and Pietro Mascagni (32), is appreciative but not wildly enthusiastic. Reviews are poor. The composer is disappointed.
March 2, 1896: Zanetto, an opera by Pietro Mascagni (32) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti and Menasci after Coppée, is performed for the first time, at the Liceo Rossini, Pesaro, the composer conducting. It is well received in Pesaro but will not do as well in Milan when Mascagni takes it there in two weeks.
March 27, 1898: Pietro Mascagni (34) conducts a symphonic concert for the first time in an important house, at La Scala, Milan. His conducting ability is warmly received.
June 19, 1898: A Giacomo Leopardi, a cantata for voice and orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (34) to words of Leopardi, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Persiani, Recanati, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the poet’s birth.
November 22, 1898: Iris, a melodramma by Pietro Mascagni (34) to words of Illica, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Costanzi, Rome, the composer conducting before a glittering audience which includes Queen Margerita and many aristocrats, Gabriele d’Annunzio, Giacomo Puccini (39), Arrigo Boito (56), and Siegfried Wagner. It is a popular but not critical success. Puccini feels that Mascagni did the best he could with a poor libretto. The rehearsals were a shambles, with the original conductor, Edoardo Mascheroni, storming out and sending off an indignant letter to the press.
May 4, 1899: Inno ad Adelaide Cairoli for voice and piano by Pietro Mascagni (35) is performed for the first time in Teatro Palacorda, Pesaro.
January 17, 1901: Le Maschere, a commedia lirica e giocosa with words by Illica and music by Pietro Mascagni (37) is premiered simultaneously at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, Teatro Costanzi, Rome, Teatro Regio, Turin, Teatro La Fenice, Venice, and Teatro Filarmonico, Verona. Except for Rome, where the composer conducts, the evening is a disaster. The critics are mixed but the public is not.
February 27, 1901: According to the composer’s wishes, the bodies of Giuseppe Verdi (†0) and his wife, Giuseppina, are moved from the Cimitero Monumentale and buried together at the Casa di Riposa, Milan. This second funeral is attended by 300,000 people, including many eminent representatives of the Italian state and foreign governments. Also in attendance are Ruggero Leoncavallo (43), Giacomo Puccini (42), and Pietro Mascagni (37). Before the procession begins, a massed choir of 820 voices, directed by Arturo Toscanini, sings Va pensiero from Nabucco.
October 2, 1902: Incidental music to Caine’s play The Eternal City by Pietro Mascagni (38) is performed for the first time, in His Majesty’s Theatre, London.
October 8, 1902: Pietro Mascagni (38) opens his American tour at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, with performances of Cavalleria Rusticana and Zanetto.
January 20, 1903: Italian Minister of Public Education Nunzio Nasi confirms the dismissal of Pietro Mascagni (39) from the directorship of the Liceo Rossini, Pesaro.
April 2, 1903: After six months in North America, a bankruptcy, a lawsuit, a house arrest, and many angry musicians and opera-goers later, Pietro Mascagni (39) boards ship in New York making for Le Havre.
October 12, 1903: Pietro Mascagni (39) accepts the directorship of the Scuola Nazionale di Musica in Rome.
March 16, 1905: The dramma Amica by Pietro Mascagni (41) to words of Bérel (tr. Targioni-Tozzetti), is performed for the first time, in the Opera de Monte Carlo, the composer conducting. The press and the public are enthusiastic.
December 16, 1905: Pietro Mascagni (42) begins conducting for the Società Teatrale Internazionale in Rome with a performance of Tristan und Isolde.
April 4, 1910: Pietro Mascagni (46) and Anna Lolli, a 22-year-old chorus member at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, fall in love. They will continue their liaison until his death 35 years from now.
June 21, 1910: Pietro Mascagni (46) and the singer Anna Lolli consummate their relationship at Castell’Arquato near Piacenza, the home of his librettist, Luigi Illica. They will continue to celebrate 21 June as their anniversary.
June 2, 1911: Isabeau, a leggenda drammatica by Pietro Mascagni (47) to words of Illica after the Lady Godiva legend, is performed for the first time, at the Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires, the composer conducting. It is a success and Mascagni is given 20 curtain calls at the end.
October 31, 1911: Pietro Mascagni (47) gives two farewell concerts in Buenos Aires and after the second, boards ship to return to Italy. During six months in Argentina, Mascagni has conducted 174 performances.
December 15, 1913: Parisina, a tragedia lirica by Pietro Mascagni (50) to words of D’Annunzio, is performed for the first time, at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the composer conducting. The curtain goes up at 20:30 and the opera runs until 01:35. Even with cuts made for the second performance, it will fail.
May 11, 1915: Pietro Mascagni (51) writes to his lover, Anna Lolli, from Milan. “And if [there is war] I will weep forever over my country, destroyed by...a band of madmen and criminals.”
March 11, 1917: La Ballata di Maggio for solo voice and ensemble, composed for Salvini’s play Dante by Pietro Mascagni (53), is performed for the first time in Teatro Niccolini, Florence.
April 30, 1917: Lodoletta, an opera by Pietro Mascagni (53) to words of Forzano after Ouida, is performed for the first time, at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome the composer conducting. The audience is warm, but not enthralled. Critics are lukewarm.
July 3, 1917: Rapsodia Satanica, a film with music by Pietro Mascagni (53) is shown for the first time, in Teatro Augusteo, Rome.
November 29, 1917: Pietro Mascagni (53) learns that one of his sons, Edouardo (Dino), is now a prisoner of war of the Austrians, having been captured during the recent Isonzo breakthrough. His other son, Domenico (Mimi), was also in the same fighting, but survived in tact.
December 13, 1919: Pietro Mascagni’s (56) operetta Si, to words of Lombardo and Franci, is performed for the first time, at the Teatro Quirino, Rome. Although the composer is upset by cuts made by the conductor, the opera is a moderate success. Mascagni does not attend the premiere.
September 6, 1920: As leftist workers throughout Italy take over their factories, Pietro Mascagni (56) and members of his family make a tumultuous visit to the shipyard in Livorno, his birthplace. He tours the facility and is given gifts.
May 2, 1921: Il piccolo Marat, a dramma lirico by Pietro Mascagni (57) to words of Forzano, is performed for the first time, at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, the composer conducting. While both communists and fascists are in the audience ready to demonstrate at the slightest offense, the work is a resounding success.
January 14, 1923: Guardando la Santa Teresa del Bernini for orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (59) is performed for the first time, in Teatro Augusteo, Rome.
January 9, 1928: Il canto del lavoro for chorus and orchestra by Pietro Mascagni (64) to words of Bovio and Rossoni is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Carlo, Naples.
March 23, 1932: Pinotta, an idillio by Pietro Mascagni (68) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti, is performed for the first time, at the Casino, San Remo 52 years after it was composed. The composer conducts.
August 14, 1932: Invocazione alla Madonna for solo voices, female chorus, and organ or piano by Pietro Mascagni (68) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti is performed for the first time, in Livorno.
January 16, 1935: Nerone, an opera by Pietro Mascagni (71) to words of Targioni-Tozzetti after Cossa, is performed for the first time, in the Teatro alla Scala, Milan under the baton of the composer.
June 4, 1944: World War II: Evening. American troops reach the center of Rome. The Hotel Plaza is taken over by Free French forces for their officers. All guests are required to leave, except for Pietro Mascagni (80) and his wife.
July 31, 1945: Pietro Mascagni (81) and Anna Lolli, his mistress of 35 years, see each other for the last time, in Rome.
August 1, 1945: A priest from nearby San Lorenzo in Lucina is summoned to administer Last Rites to Pietro Mascagni (81) in his Rome hotel room. He is joined by an emissary from Pope Pius XII, Monsignor Pucci.
August 2, 1945: 07:15 Pietro Mascagni dies in his apartment in the Hotel Plaza on the Via del Corso in Rome, Kingdom of Italy, aged 81 years, seven months, and 26 days. He is attended by his wife and other family members, although his son Edoardo is currently in prison for fascist activities. The French commanders, who use the hotel for their officers, order their flag outside lowered to half-staff. As the news is broadcast on the radio, a crowd begins to form outside the hotel.
August 3, 1945: The public is admitted to the hotel in Rome where the body of Pietro Mascagni is lying in state. Thousands stream in.
August 4, 1945: 200,000 people view the funeral procession in memory of Pietro Mascagni in Rome. Though only a short distance, it takes three hours to complete. The honor guard is provided by the French army. After the service in the Church of San Lorenzo, his earthly remains are laid to rest in the Campo Verano cemetery.
June 25, 1951: The earthly remains of Pietro Mascagni (†5) and his wife are moved from the Campo Verano Cemetery in Rome to the Cimitero della Misericordia in Livorno and placed next to those of his parents and brothers.
October 9, 1999: Two sacred works by Pietro Mascagni (†54) are performed for the first time, in Santa Maria del Soccorso, Livorno: Alleluja, solemnitas gloriae Virginis Mariae for soprano and organ 120 years after it was composed, and Alleluja, Dies sanctificatus, 118 years after is was composed. The manuscripts were discovered earlier this year.