Personalities | Giovanni Verga | Turn of the Century | Opera

1840–1922, Italian

Librettist Verga came relatively late to serious writing but his contribution, when it came, was forceful. In 1884, he had a volume of short stories published of which one was entitled Cavalleria rusticana. The story was expanded into a play shortly afterwards and it was this version that was adapted for Mascagni’s eponymous opera. Verga’s strident passion and simmering violence were to prove a powerful catalyst for Mascagni and the resulting work signalled the birth of a new style in Italian opera. In many ways, Mascagni’s music underplays the violence of the play, which, both in that respect and in its unrestrained depiction of the poorest classes, was shocking in its brutality. Verga found considerable success with his other plays and founded the brand of realism that swept through Italy in the late nineteenth century. His impersonal, colourful prose style (he made extensive use of the vernacular) acted as a catalyst for the regeneration of Italian literature.

Introduction | Turn of the Century | Opera
Personalities | Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari | Turn of the Century | Opera
Techniques | Realism, Naturalisme & Verismo | High Romantic | Opera


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.