• Thu 22 August 2024

Visit Livorno / Events / FRIENDS OF BOHEMIA


Thursday 22 August, 9.30 pm
Terrazza Mascagni, Livorno

Pietro Mascagni Alessio Boni
Giacomo Puccini Marcello Prayer
Piano Massimo Salotti
Soprano of the Mascagni Academy
Director Marco Voleri
Production Mascagni Festival / Aida Produzioni

In the heart of the fervent 19th century Italian music scene, two young talents, Pietro Mascagni and Giacomo Puccini, met at the conservatory, forming a friendship that would mark the history of Italian music. In the year of Puccini’s celebrations, this reading explores the deep bond between Pietro Mascagni and Giacomo Puccini, from their humble origins to worldwide success, revealing to the public their poetic nature, personal lives, victories, and challenges that shaped their careers. Pietro and Giacomo were also, like the protagonists of Puccini’s most famous opera, “bohemian friends”, two young artists with a strong desire to make music and they lived their bohemian life in Milan. Here, a strong and fraternal friendship was born between the two. The young musicians, favorite students of maestro Ponchielli, both in precarious financial conditions, shared the same room in a modest top-floor apartment for a long period. They shared meals, study hours, and together bought Wagner and Boito scores to study. It was Pietro who organized a collection for Giacomo to stage, in 1884, the opera Le Villi, the first operatic composition that no impresario wanted to produce; it was Pietro who stayed behind the scenes throughout the performance to be among the first to embrace his friend at the end. So in 1890, after the premiere of Cavalleria, the first congratulatory telegram received by Pietro was from his friend Giacomo. Those times always remained vivid in Mascagni’s memory, even once he had achieved celebrity. His desperate letter of November 27, 1924, from Vienna to Adriano Belli, a music journalist, for the death of his friend Giacomo.

In 1930, with Forzano, it was Mascagni who inaugurated the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago conducting La Boheme in honor of his friend. This reading celebrates this extraordinary friendship, highlighting the strength of a bond that has overcome challenges, nurturing creativity and mutual inspiration. The pages of Italian music history are enriched by this epic symphony of friendship that has immortalized the names of Mascagni and Puccini in the world’s musical panorama.

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