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Nino Rota

Nino Rota

Nino Rota's life

Nino Rota was born in 1911 in Milan, into a musical family. He studied at the conservatory with the guidance of Ildebrando Pizzetti's and proved to be a talented child from the very beginning. His first oratorio, L'infanzia di San Giovanni Battista, was performed in Milan and Paris in 1923 and his lyrical comedy, Il Principe Porcaro, was composed when he was only 15. In 1930, he won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia and encouraged by Arturo Toscanini, he moved to the United States where he lived for 2 years. There he studied conducting, with Fritz Reiner, and composition, with Rosario Scalero. He then came back to Italy to graduate in literature. In 1937, he began a teaching career that brought him to become director of the Bari Conservatory in 1950. During the 1940s, Rota composed scores for more than 32 films. In fact, in all his life, he wrote scores to more than 150 films. His collaboration with Fellini began with Lo sceicco bianco (1952), followed by I vitelloni (1953) and La strada (1954), (1963), Giulietta degli spiriti (1965). They continued to work together for decades. Rota also wrote many concerti and other orchestral works as well as piano, chamber and choral music. His opera Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (The Italian Straw Hat), 1955, an adaptation of the play by Eugene Labiche, was presented by the Santa Fe Opera in 1977. In 2005 his opera Aladino e la lampada magica (Aladdin and the Magical Lamp), was performed at the Vienna State Opera, while I due timidi (The Two Timid Ones), was presented by the Santa Fe Opera in 2008. The American Film Institute ranked Rota's score for The Godfather #5 on their list of the greatest film scores. He died in April 1979 from heart failure.

Rota's Operas

Il principe porcaro (1926), Ariodante (1942), Torquemada (1943),I due timidi (1950), Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (prima esecuzione (1955),Scuola di guida (1959), La notte di un nevrastenico (1959), Lo scoiattolo in gamba, Aladino e la lampada magica (1963-1965), La visita meravigliosa (1965-1969), Napoli milionaria (1973-1977)


Rota's Napoli Milionaria

Napoli milionaria, which is Nino Rota's last opera, debuted at Festival of Spoleto in 1977. Eduardo De Filippo wrote the libretto, revising his own successful play, however not totally sure of the project. He added a hint of the typical pessimism of Italy during that period. Eduardo, who in 1950 had already written the soundtrack of the film with the same title, composed the score where there are moments of strong drama, in an original and striking style.
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