Ruggero Leoncavallo

Biography

Born: 1857   Died: 1919   Country: Italy   Period: Romantic
Ruggero Leoncavallo is remembered almost exclusively for his opera I Pagliacci, which -- along with Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana -- has become the hallmark of the late nineteenth century verismo style. Leoncavallo studied composition at the Naples conservatory and literature at Bologna University; this dual passion for music and poetry would lead the young composer to seek a unity between the two disciplines in the manner of Richard Wagner, Read more whose music would come as a revelation.

His first operatic efforts were thwarted by ill fortune: a production of his student work, Chatterton, fell through after the impresario made off with the money Leoncavallo himself had furnished to cover the costs. However, after several years of scraping by as a café pianist, he was introduced to the influential publisher Giulio Ricordi, who bought the rights to Chatterton and engaged Leoncavallo as a librettist. While this signified a temporary improvement in the young man's circumstances, the creative alliance between Leoncavallo and Ricordi proved frustrating. Ricordi declined his next opera, I Medici, and his attempts at a libretto for Puccini's Manon Lescaut led to irreconcilable creative differences.

These combined misfortunes instilled in Leoncavallo a singular desire for operatic success, which he channeled into his masterpiece, I Pagliacci. Modeled on Mascagni's Cavalleria, Pagliacci was an instant sensation at its premier in 1892. From that point onward, Leoncavallo enjoyed fame and wealth, although the success of this work was never to be repeated.

In 1897 Leoncavallo produced a setting of La Bohème that was meant to rival that of Puccini, but, although it pleased the public somewhat, Puccini's finer and more sophisticated work quickly outstripped Leoncavallo's in popularity. Subsequent re-workings of Chatterton and I Medici proved to be dismal failures in Italy, but I Medici sufficiently impressed the Kaiser of Germany to gain a commission for a new work, Der Roland von Berlin (1904), which enjoyed modest success in Berlin. However, Leoncavallo never again gained his footing in Italy, where his works formed a succession of spectacular failures and tepid successes.

The advent of recording technology was fortuitous for Leoncavallo, who conducted I Pagliacci in the first complete recording of an Italian opera. He also accompanied Enrico Caruso in a recorded performance of the song, "Mattinata," which has become his most popular work after Pagliacci. Read less
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana; Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Corelli
Release Date: 11/08/1991   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 63967   Number of Discs: 2
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Historical - Leoncavallo, Mascagni / Serafin, Callas
Release Date: 06/07/2005   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 86830   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Il Tabarro;  Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Leinsdorf
Release Date: 06/05/2009   Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal  
Catalog: 60865   Number of Discs: 2
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Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Muti, Pavarotti, Dessi, Pons, Et Al
Release Date: 04/13/1993   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 438132   Number of Discs: 1
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Opera In English - Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Parry, Et Al
Release Date: 09/15/1998   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3003   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: I Pagliacci: Recitar!...Vesti la giubba

Browse 1-25 of 266 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Marcelo Alvarez: 20 Years On The Opera Stage
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3472 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marcelo [Tenor Vocals] Alvarez
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
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  • 2.
    Voices of Firestone II DVD 4-Pack
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4985 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Vincenzo D'Annibale  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Franco Corelli,  Eleanor Steber,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Howard Barlow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    On sale! $79.99
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  • 3.
    Opera - The Ultimate Collection / Andrea Bocelli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002181302 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Barbara Frittoli,  Matteo Peirone,  Verónica Villarroel  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda,  Placido Domingo,  Zubin Mehta,  Marco Armiliato  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Valencia Community Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $16.98
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  • 4.
    50 Great Arias / Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002153502 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Jana Sibera,  Michael Volle,  Margarete Joswig  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Claudio Abbado,  Donald Runnicles,  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Parma Teatro Regio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $32.98
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  • 5.
    The Early Domingo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 975792 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Psaros,  John McCaw,  Franklyn Whiteley  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes,  Nello Santi,  Sherrill Milnes,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 6.
    3 Tenors In Concert 1994 [20th Anniversary] CD+DVD
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633737 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Richard Rodgers,  Agustín Lara,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Placido Domingo,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    Il Mito Dell'opera: Pedro Lavirgen
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1233 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Pedro Lavirgen
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Domingo at the Met [Anniversary Edition]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303160 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Allan Glassman,  Paul Plishka,  David [Tenor Vocal] Hamilton  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Giuseppe Patané,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 9.
    Voices of Firestone DVD 4-Pack - Bjorling, Sutherland, Merrill, Stevens
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4938 Release Date: 04/07/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers,  Georges Bizet,  Rudolf Friml,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Risë Stevens,  Jussi Björling,  Anne-Lisa Björling,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Howard Barlow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Voice of Firestone Orchestra
    On sale! $34.99
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  • 10.
    One Chance [original Soundtrack]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301047 Release Date: 01/07/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ennio Morricone,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Neal Cooper,  Paul Potts,  Jan Bengtson,  Per Magnusson  ... 
    Conductor:  David Snell,  Gavin Greenaway,  Henrik Janson,  Ulf Janson  ... 
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  • 11.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Giuseppe Vendittelli, Vol. 2
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1231 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Vendittelli,  Enrica Guarrini,  Magda [Soprano Vocal] Olivero,  Bianca Berini
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  • 12.
    The 50 Greatest Tracks / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922802 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Malcolm King,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Edward Downes  ... 
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  • 13.
    The Best of Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001894302 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Jana Sibera,  Renée Fleming,  Barbara Vignudelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Antonio Pappano,  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
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  • 14.
    Famous Opera Arias / Pedro Lavirgen
    Label: Emec (Editorial De Musica Espanola)   Catalog: 109 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Pedro Lavirgen
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  • 15.
    Richard Tucker - The Opera Recital Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 543283 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  Dorothy Kirsten,  Eileen Farrell,  Daniza Ilitsch
    Conductor:  Fausto Cleva,  Nello Santi,  Franz Allers,  Wilfrid Pelletier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Fausto Cleva,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 16.
    Franco Corelli: A Discographic Career
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 214 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Maria Curtis-Verna,  Piero de Palma,  Maria Callas  ... 
    Conductor:  Umberto Cattini,  Alfredo Simonetto,  Arturo Basile,  Angelo Questa  ... 
    On sale! $35.98
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  • 17.
    Historical Recordings 1902-1914
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7700009 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Nellie Melba,  Antonio [Baritone Vocals] Scotti,  Ernestine Schumann-Heink  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter B. Rogers,  Giulio Setti
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  • 18.
    Lauritz Melchior: The Art Of The Heldentenor In Opera And Song - Vol 1 & 2
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4794 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Sigmund Romberg,  Richard Strauss,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Howard Barlow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    On sale! $19.99
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  • 19.
    Jussi Björling - Classic Arias & Duets Of Bizet, Puccini, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1080 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Emil Markow,  Harry Ebert
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Nils Grevillius
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 20.
    The Essential Performances
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 6009 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini,  Eduardo Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
    CD: $8.99
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  • 21.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 50865 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    On sale! $21.96
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  • 22.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 56003 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Label: Avalon   Catalog: 57227 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Sartori,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Nick Lucchese,  Attila Darvas,  Igor Romanyk,  Jerry Caringi  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantine Kremetz
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 24.
    Be My Love - Tribute To Mario Lanza / 	Joseph Calleja
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001743802 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  Agustín Lara,  Renato Rascel,  Juventino Rosas  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Calleja
    Conductor:  Steven Mercurio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra,  New London Singers
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    Placido Domingo Sings Caruso
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 195442 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jules Massenet,  Francesco Cilèa,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Psaros
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Sir Georg Solti,  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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