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After the success of Cavalleria rusticana, Pietro Mascagni is already thinking of new subjects to set to music. The initial project of I Rantzau, inspired by a novel by Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian, is temporarily set aside for L'amico Fritz, a sentimental comedy by the same authors supported by the publisher Sonzogno who had already ordered the librettist reduction to Angelo Zanardini . But the composer did not like the libretto prepared by Zanardini at all and so the intervention of the scholar Angelo Daspuro was necessary first, and then the trusted Guido Menasci and Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti. Mascagni began working on the opera in the winter of 1891, completing it in time for its debut at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 31 October of the same year. However, the success of the first performance does not save L'amico Fritz from an uneven fate made up of conflicting opinions and judgments. First of all that of Giuseppe Verdi, who blamed the too many dissonances and the continuous changes of tempo in the score and bluntly broke the libretto. In truth Mascagni had deliberately chosen the subject of L'amico Fritz, where the action is almost inconsistent, precisely to make his music stand out. A fresh music, with affectionate tones and suitable for the kind-hearted - as the author himself defined it - which lightly traces the little love idyll of Fritz Kobus, unrepentant bachelor of the country, and of the enchanting Suzel, daughter of his farmer who it will make him fall in love.