Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) is a 'one-hit' composer, virtually only known for his opera Cavalleria Rusticana. He was born in Livorno, Italy, and studied under Ponchielli at the Milan Conservatory.   He became famous in 1890 after the first performance of "Cav", with its melodies resembling Italian folk song, combined with rich orchestration and a passionate fast-moving plot. Sadly, he endorsed Mussolini's fascist regime for political favour, and took over La Scala Milan, after Toscanini conscientiously resigned from there in 1929. He died only one year after Mussolini was defeated, in a shabby hotel in Rome.