Zazà is an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Ruggero Leoncavallo
Ruggero Leoncavallo was an Italian opera composer. His two-act work Pagliacci remains one of the most popular works in the repertory, appearing as number 20 on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide.-Biography:...

, with the libretto by the composer. Its première at the Teatro Lirico di Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

o on November 10, 1900, starring Rosina Storchio
Rosina Storchio
Rosina Storchio was an important Italian lyric soprano who starred in the world premieres of operas by Puccini, Leoncavallo, Mascagni and Giordano...

 as Zazà, Edoardo Garbin
Edoardo Garbin
Edouardo Garbin was an Italian operatic tenor. He was married to the soprano Adelina Stehle.- Roles created :* Don Fernando Guevara in Cristoforo Colombo , Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice October 6, 1892...

 as Milio, Mario Sammarco
Mario Sammarco
Mario Sammarco was an Italian operatic baritone noted for his histrionic ability.-Biography:...

 as Cascart and Clorinda Pini-Corsi as Anaïde, and conducted by Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. One of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, he was renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory...

, began its triumphant run of performances in opera houses around the world.

Over the next twenty years it received over fifty new productions from Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

 to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 to Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 to San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, arriving at The Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...

 on January 16, 1920 in a production directed by David Belasco
David Belasco
David Belasco was an American theatrical producer, impresario, director and playwright.-Biography:Born in San Francisco, California, where his Sephardic Jewish parents had moved from London, England, during the Gold Rush, he began working in a San Francisco theatre doing a variety of routine jobs,...

 and conducted by Roberto Moranzoni, starring Geraldine Farrar
Geraldine Farrar
Geraldine Farrar was an American soprano opera singer and film actress, noted for her beauty, acting ability, and "the intimate timbre of her voice." She had a large following among young women, who were nicknamed "Gerry-flappers".- Early life and opera career :Farrar was born in Melrose,...

, Giulio Crimi and Pasquale Amato
Pasquale Amato
Pasquale Amato was an outstanding Italian operatic baritone. Amato enjoyed an international reputation but attained the peak of his fame in New York City, where he sang with the Metropolitan Opera from 1908 until 1921....

, and later Giovanni Martinelli
Giovanni Martinelli
Giovanni Martinelli was a celebrated Italian operatic tenor. He was particularly associated with the Italian lyric-dramatic repertory, although he performed French operatic roles to great acclaim as well...

 and Giuseppe de Luca
Giuseppe de Luca
Giuseppe De Luca , was a famous Italian baritone who achieved his greatest triumphs at the New York Metropolitan Opera...

. With La Bohème, Zaza is the opera of Leoncavallo's which most nearly matched the success of Pagliacci.

The story of the opera concerns the French music hall singer, Zazà and her affair and subsequent decision to leave her lover, Milio, when she discovers that he is married. The score is rich with the colorful details of the French music hall
Music hall
Music Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment which was popular between 1850 and 1960. The term can refer to:# A particular form of variety entertainment involving a mixture of popular song, comedy and speciality acts...

s where Leoncavallo had spent his early years as a composer.
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