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Giovacchino Forzano (19 November 1884, Borgo San Lorenzo, Florence — 18 October 1970, Rome) was an Italian playwright, librettist, stage director, and film director. A resourceful writer, he produced opera librettos for most of the major Italian composers of the early twentieth century, including the librettos for Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi.[1]


Forzano studied medicine before embarking on a brief career as an operatic baritone. He then began studying law and, after finishing his diploma, became a freelance journalist, contributing regularly to several of Italy’s major newspapers. In 1914 he met and befriended Giacomo Puccini who asked him to write the librettos for his Il trittico, a collection of three one-act operas. Forzano agreed to write the librettos for two of the works, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, but declined Il tabarro saying that he preferred to create his own plots (Giuseppe Adami wrote the libretto for Il tabarro). Il trittico premiered at the Metropolitan Opera on December 14, 1918 to high acclaim. With the success of Il trittico, Forzano was soon approached by other composers to provide librettos, including Alberto Franchetti, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Umberto Giordano, and Pietro Mascagni.[1]

In 1920 Forzano became a stage director at La Scala, serving in the capacity through 1930. He later became a director for propaganda films for the National Fascist Party under Benito Mussolini. In 1957 he published a volume of memoirs, Come li ho conosciuti, which reveal interesting perspectives on the composers with whom he collaborated.[1] He also participated in several filmed documentaries that recall his work on Gianni Schicchi with Puccini.

Opera librettos


  1. ^ a b c Julian Budden: "Giovacchino Forzano", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed March 04, 2009), (subscription access)


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