(1854 - 1929)


Antonio Smareglia, the great Istrian composer, counted among his interpreters and admirers musicians and intellectuals such as Arrigo Boito, Edouard Hanslick, Johannes Brahms, Arturo Toscanini, Hans Richter, Richard Strauss and James Joyce. They admired his contrapuntal ability and his musical language, the orchestral texture of which took inspiration from Wagner and the Central European world, but without forgetting its cultural roots and the great Italian vocal tradition.

Up until the 1920s his operas were performed in the major Italian and foreign opera houses, in the interpretations of conductors such as Arturo Toscanini, Antonio Guarnieri, Vittorio Gui, Tullio Serafin, and singers such as Gemma Bellincioni, Roberto Stagno, Giovanni Zenatello, Emma Carelli, Claudia Muzio, Carlo Tagliabue, Lina Bruna Rasa, Pia Tassinari and Alessandro Wesselowski. Unfortunately only his beloved Trieste remembers him today with some precious performances.

Smareglia had difficult relations with his publishers, whom he often changed: from Lucca (and thence Ricordi) to Tedeschi, from Schmidt to the Casa Giuliana. He collaborated with the Casa Sonzogno from 1924 to 1928 but in 1975 his heirs entrusted this publishing house with all the Maestro’s works.

  • Publicity poster for Nozze istriane (1895, Teatro Comunale of Trieste) for German-speaking countries
  • The first edition of the libretto of Oceana (1903, La Scala of Milan, conductor Arturo Toscanini)
  • Sketch by Angelo Parravicini for the first production of Abisso (1914, La Scala, Milan, conductor Tullio Serafin, protagonist Claudia Muzio)
  • Costume designs by Pier Luigi Samaritani for La Falena at the Teatro Verdi of Trieste (1975, conductor Gianandrea Gavazzeni, protagonist Leyla Gencer)
  • Pittori fiamminghi at the Teatro Verdi of Trieste (1991, scenes by Maurizio Balò, costumes by Luisa Salvini)