Music: Opera in Italy

Many of Composer Pietro Mascagni's loud and pessimistic utterings seem prompted by a great personal grievance based on the failure of all his operas since Cavalleria in Rusticana. But his grounds for grumbling last week were broad, not personal. He had been commissioned to investigate the condition of opera in Italy on behalf of the Royal Academy at Rome. He had found: that of 100 opera houses only 15 are financially able to present a creditable winter season; that the reason is "the fictitious and arbitrary valuation'' of singers' services. To directors of...

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