Leoncavallo, Ruggiero (b Naples, 1857; d Montecatini, 1919). It. composer. Completed first opera, Chatterton, in 1876 and planned trilogy on Renaissance Italy of which only 1st part I Medici (1893) was written. Was café pianist for many years, travelling through Eur. and settling in Paris. Fame rests on successful Pagliacci (Milan 1892, cond. Toscanini). His La bohème (1897) suffered from comparison with Puccini's, prod. 15 months earlier. Wrote series of operettas, but failed to win an audience. Last opera was Edipo Re (Chicago 1920). His Zazà (Milan 1900) has been revived, notably at Wexford 1990 (as was his La bohème in 1994).
Leoncavallo, Ruggiero (1858–1919) Italian composer, mainly of operas. He travelled all over Europe working as an accompanist and composer of music-hall songs. Of his operas, I Pagliacci (1892) alone has withstood the test of time.
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