Italian opera as originally intended

The series ”Masterpieces of Italian Opera”

Bärenreiter marks the start of a new series “Masterpieces of Italian Opera” (MIO) commencing with the publication of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s veristic opera "Pagliacci", a work which belongs to the core repertoire of opera houses all over the world. At present four volumes will be published but further volumes are envisaged. MIO was born out of the need for editions for both performance and research purposes.

When the curtain rises on a performance of an Italian opera, few performers or listeners are aware that the work may have been revised by the composer, altered by censors, incorrectly reproduced by copyists, modified by singers and conductors, and further altered by publishers. Thus, performers and scholars often find it impossible to discern the composer’s original work from the subsequent revisions, modifications, and additions. On the basis of all relevant sources and the latest research, MIO restores the authoritative versions of some of the most significant works.

Aware of the rich performance tradition, MIO also allows for the performance of alternative, historically coherent versions via materials provided in the appendixes. These include, for instance, the shorter original version of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci”, the original version of Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana” with restored cuts and occasional higher keys, an alternate finale of Gaetano Donizetti’s “Caterina Cornaro” and a later version of Domenico Cimarosa’s “Il matrimonio segreto”, with a different structure and additional arias.

Each volume contains, in English and Italian, a historical introduction, a description of the sources and discussions regarding performance practice issues. The Critical Commentary, which provides alternative readings and justifications of editorial decisions, will be available in English on the Bärenreiter website.

These MIO editions are mostly prepared in conjunction with specific performances or in consultation with leading conductors and singers. By means of this collaborative effort, Bärenreiter is able to offer editions that satisfy performers, audiences, and scholars alike.


Masterpieces of Italian Opera: The first four volumes

Ruggero Leoncavallo: Pagliacci. Editor: Andreas Giger. BA 7648-01. Full score € 396.00

In preparation

Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana. Edited by Andreas Giger. BA 7649-01. Full score.
Gaetano Donizetti: Caterina Cornaro. Edited by Hans Schellevis. BA 8747-01. Full score.
Domenico Cimarosa: Il matrimonio segreto. Edited by Federico Gon and Guido Olivieri.
BA 7647-01. Full score.

Performance material available on hire at Bärenreiter · Alkor