Vintage Christmas : Sylva Koscina
'Grazie a Dio sono in forma come un violino'. Pietro Mascagni.
'Thank God I'm as fit as a fiddle'. Pietro Mascagni
Livorno, 7 Dicembre 1863- Roma , 2 Agosto 1945
Lyda Borelli in Rapsodia Satanica (1917), directed by Nino Oxilia. A Faustian drama, the soundtrack, syncronized with the scenes, was composed by Pietro Mascagni.
Tenor Giacomo Lauri Volpi sings La Canzone del Sole ( The Song of the Sun ) in the film with the same title (1933). The man listening is Vittorio De Sica. A German-Italian co-production directed by Max Neufeld, it’s a comedy based on a story by opera lirica librettist and playwright Giovacchino Forzano. The soundtrack and title song were composed by Pietro Mascagni.
Leonardo Cortese as Turiddu, Isa Pola as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana (1939). Directed by Amleto Palermi, the film is based on the short story (1884) by Giovanni Verga . Produced by Cines, it was one of the most successful films of the 1930s. Mascagni refused to use his opera lirica score. He thought that the opera was only for the stage and that the cinema required is own kind of soundtrack. So the film score was freely arranged on Mascagni’s opera and on traditional sicilian folkloristic smusic by Alessandro Cicognini.
'Avevano chiesto la mia musica per il film Cavalleria: ho risposto di no. È tutto qui. Il film musicale non dev’essere un’opera filmata. L’opera è fatta solo per il teatro. Bisognerebbe fare della musica per il cinematografo, non copiare il palcoscenico. E allora si avrebbe il film lirico: che manca ancora .’ Pietro Mascagni
"It was a pity I wrote Cavalleria first. I was crowned before I was king.” Pietro Mascagni
Livorno, 7 Dicembre 1863- Roma 2 Agosto, 1945
Enrico Caruso as Turiddu, Enrichetta Ferrara-Moscati as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana. Caserta, 1895
‘Modern music is as dangerous as cocaine.’ Pietro Mascagni
Livorno, 7 Dicembre 1863- Roma 2 Agosto 1945
Clelia Matania in a photo by Arturo Ghergo. She was born in London to a Neapolitan father who was , like her grandfather, a painter. She debuted in the rivista ( vaudeville) with Totò in 1941. She worked also for the cinema, often in supporting roles with Totò.
Sergio Tofano . A multifaceted artist, he graduated in Literature at the University of Rome with an essay on the light comedian role . He debuted on the stage in 1908 with Ermete Novelli’s troupe and worked with some of the well celebrated actors of the days such as Evi Maltagliati, Gino Cervi ( the three made a troupe in mid 1930s), Vittorio De Sica, Giuditta Rissone. He married actress and costume designer Rosa ( Rosetta ) Cavallari . Tofano’s first film is the forerunner of the White Telephones genre, La Segretaria Privata ( Private Secretary) 1931, by Goffredo Alessandrini ; his last one is the comedy Rugantino ( 1973) by Pasquale Festa Campanile. On Tv he is Mr. Bennet in the Italian adaptation of Pride and Prejudice ( 1957) and the Abbé Faria in The Count of Montecristo (1966). In the 1950s he was a dramatic art teacher. With the pseudonym of Sto , Tofano was also a children literature writer and illustrator. He is the inventor of Signor Bonaventura, a comic strip in rhyme which first appeared in the Corriere dei Piccoli ( Children Magazine ) in 1917. Many generations grew up with it , me too.
Carlo Romano was born to a family of actors. He debuted on the stage aged five , later to become a rivista ( vaudeville) actor. He also worked for the cinema mainly as supporting actor - he is the merry bus driver in Quattro Passi Tra le Nuvole ( 4 Steps in the Clouds) , 1942; he co-stars in Papà per Una Notte ( Father for One Night), 1939; he appears also in Luci del Varietà ( Variety Lights), 1950 and in I Vitelloni , 1953. But most of all Carlo Romano is one of the greatest Italian voice artists ever. He is the official Jerry Lewis’ Italian voice, and he also dubbed Fernandel, Lou Costello, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Fred Astaire’s early musicals, Chico Marx, Louis de Funès, Eli Wallach. He was married to actress Jone Bolghero, the widow of US Navy officer William James Ward. From her first husband Jone had one son , Aleardo who in turn was a voice actor and the father of Andrea, Monica e Luca Ward, three of the best voice artists of nowadays.
Papa’ per Una Notte ( Father for One Night ), 1939. Directed by Mario Bonnard. Carlo Romano as the clerk Agostino, Jone Romano as aunt Paolina dressed as nanny; Ugo Ceseri as Pietro Gambier, Fontages’ business partner. Carlo and Jone Romano were man and wife in real life and the heads of a dinasty of very well known voice artists.