Il piccolo Marat
Il piccolo Marat is a dramma lirico or opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 in three acts by Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. His 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria rusticana caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music...

, 1921, from a libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 by Giovacchino Forzano
Giovacchino Forzano
Giovacchino Forzano was an Italian playwright, librettist, stage director, and film director. A resourceful writer, he produced opera librettos for most of the major Italian composers of the early twentieth century, including the librettos for Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni...


Performance history

Il piccolo Marat was first performed on May 2, 1921 at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, and then many times in Italy and South America, with at least 450 individual performances documented. Though Mascagni was slated to perform the opera in the United States in 1926, logistics proved too difficult to rehearse it, and the North American premiere waited until April 13, 2009, when Teatro Grattacielo
Teatro Grattacielo
Teatro Grattacielo is a professional opera company based in New York City specializing in concert performances of rarely heard verismo operas. The company's past performances have included the North American premieres of Mascagni's Il piccolo Marat and Riccardo Zandonai's I cavalieri di Ekebù and...

 performed it at Avery Fisher Hall in New York.


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 2 May 1921
(Conductor: Pietro Mascagni)
Mariella soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

Gilda Dalla Rizza
Gilda dalla Rizza
Gilda Dalla Rizza was an important Italian soprano. Born in Verona, she made her operatic debut in Bologna in 1912, as Charlotte in Werther. Especially acclaimed in the verismo repertory, she was regarded as being Giacomo Puccini's favorite soprano, creating Magda in his La rondine...

La principessa di Fleury mezzo-soprano
A mezzo-soprano is a type of classical female singing voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto singing voices, usually extending from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above...

Agnese Porter
Il piccolo Marat tenor
The tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register. The typical tenor voice lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, to the A above middle C in choral music, and up to high C in solo work. The low extreme for tenors is roughly B2...

Hipólito Lázaro
Hipólito Lázaro
Hipólito Lázaro was a Spanish/Catalan opera singer. Lázaro was born in Barcelona, Spain....

Il soldato baritone
Baritone is a type of male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voices. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek , meaning deep sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C Baritone (or...

Benvenuto Franci
Il carpentiere baritone Ernesto Badini
Ernesto Badini
Ernesto Badini was an Italian opera singer that sang in the baritone range . He was trained at Milan Conservatory and made his debut as Figaro in San Colombano al Lambro...

L'orco bass
Bass (voice type)
A bass is a type of male singing voice and possesses the lowest vocal range of all voice types. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a range extending from around the second E below middle C to the E above middle C...

Luigi Ferroni
Il capitano Augusto Beuf
La spia Gino De Vecchi
Il portatore Arturo Pellegrino
Il ladro Michele Fiore
La tigre Mario Pinheiro
Una voce Luigi Nardi


Several recordings exist of the complete work, the most widely distributed of which features the husband and wife team of Virginia Zeani and Nicola Rossi-Lemeni with tenor Giuseppe Gismondo; this live 1962 recording from San Remo was issued on the Italian Cetra label as a 3 lp set and, later, a 2 cd set. A live concert performance from Holland, 1992, starring Susan Neves and Daniel Galvez-Vallejo, was issued on the Bongiovanni label. Among significant recordings of selections of the opera are Hippolito Lazaro's 1926 recording (with soprano Mafalda de Voltri) of approximately 14 minutes of the opera beginning at "Sei tu? Che cosa vieni a fare?... Va nella tua stanzetta"
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