Italo Montemezzi

Biography

Born: May 31, 1875   Died: May 15, 1952  
Born near Verona, this Italian opera composer studied engineering before pursuing music at the Milan Conservatory. After finishing studies in 1900, he stayed on to teach harmony for a year. Thereafter, however, he made a living solely as a composer, never holding another official teaching position. Toward the end of his life, he lived in California (1939 - 1949), then returned to Italy where he heard his last works performed.

His best
Read more works show dramatic instinct, solid craftsmanship, appropriate use of regional color, and judicious application of Wagnerian orchestration and harmony. Like Catalani, he kept it all within a traditional Italian, voice-centered framework. Although he composed at least eight operas, including Giovanni Gallurese (1905), as well as other orchestral and choral works, he was only able to win lasting success with L'amore di tre re (1913), an opera still persistently successful in the U.S. It shows considerable Wagnerian influence; parallels can be drawn between its plot and that of Tristan und Isolde. Not to diminish the real power of his best works, some have criticized Montemezzi for lacking a truly individual compositional personality. Indeed, by deferring to Wagner and occasionally even Strauss, Montemezzi may have unknowingly let other composers' voices sing louder than his own. Read less

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