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Umberto Giordano
Umberto Menotti Maria Giordano (August 28, 1867 – November 12, 1948) was an Italian composer, mainly of operas.

He was born in Foggiamarker in Pugliamarker, southern Italymarker, and studied under Paolo Serrao at the Conservatoire of Naplesmarker. His first opera Marina, was written for the competition staged by the music publishers Casa Sonzogno for the best one-act opera, remembered today because it marked the beginning of Italian verismo; the winner was Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana. Giordano, the youngest candidate, placed sixth among seventy-three with Marina, which generated enough interest for Sonzogno to commission an opera to be staged in the 1891–92 season.

The result was Mala Vita, a gritty verismo opera concerning a labourer who vows to reform a prostitute if he is cured of his tuberculosis. This caused something of a scandal when performed at the Teatro Argentinamarker, Rome, in February 1892. It played successfully at Vienna, Prague and Berlin.

Giordano tried a more romantic approach with his next opera, Regina Diaz with libretto writing by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci (1894), but this was also a failure, taken off the stage after just two performances.

Giordano then moved to Milanmarker, and returned to verismo with his best-known work, Andrea Chénier (1896), based on the life of the Frenchmarker poet, André Chénier. Fedora (1898), based on Victorien Sardou's play, featured a scarcely-known young tenor, Enrico Caruso; it was also a success, and is still performed today. His later works are much less known, but occasionally revived.

The most important theater in Foggia has been dedicated to Umberto Giordano, in which Andrea Chénier was lately performed. A square in Foggia is also dedicated to him, with many statues representing his most famous works.

Opera works

  • Marina (1888)
  • Mala Vita (21 February 1892, Teatro Argentina, Rome)
  • Regina Diaz (5 March 1894, Teatro Mercadante, Naples)
  • Andrea Chénier (28 March 1896, Teatro alla Scalamarker, Milan)
  • Fedora (17 November 1898, Teatro Lirico, Milan)
  • Il Voto Rev. of Mala Vita (6 September 1902, Teatro Bellini, Naples)
  • Siberia (19 December 1903, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, rev. 1927)
  • Marcella (9 November 1907, Teatro Lirico, Milan)
  • Mese mariano (17 March 1910, Teatro Massimomarker, Palermo)
  • Madame Sans-Gêne (25 January 1915, Metropolitan Opera, New York)
  • Giove a Pompei (6 July 1921, Teatro La Pariola, Rome)
  • La cena delle beffe (20 December 1924, Teatro alla Scala, Milan)
  • Il re (12 January 1929, Teatro alla Scala, Milan)
  • La festa del Nilo (incomplete)

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