Rocco Vincenzo Trimarchi, son of Alfonso and Erminia Ricciardi, was born on April 20th, 1861, at Sinopoli (a town in the province of Reggio Calabria, region Calabria, Italy).

     In Naples (region Campania - Italy), he attended the Royal Secondary School "Umberto I" and, in 1882, he graduated from the "San Pietro a Majella" Royal Musical Conservatory.  His teacher was a great musician from Calabria, Paolo Serrao, and his classmates were Umberto Giordano and Francesco Cilea.

     He deserved Richard Wagner's praises, who listened to one of his early works and urged him to remain loyal to the Italian "bel canto".

il Maestro Rocco Trimarchi



    Rocco wrote many dramatic theatrical works, a "Solemn Mass: CLICK TO LISTEN TO THE MIDIFILESanctus", and also several excellent arias which sweetly echoed on all sides of Europe, as  CLICK TO LISTEN TO THE MIDIFILE"Pallide mammole", triumphantly taken round by Fernando De Lucia and Nellie MelbaCLICK TO LISTEN TO THE MIDIFILE"Chianto 'e passione" and  CLICK TO LISTEN TO THE MIDIFILE"Un bacio ancora", whose original recording by Enrico Caruso is still available on some CD collections.

     From the rich documentation, consisting of personal and professional mail, official acts and clippings, it emerges that fate was stubbornly pitiless towards his talent, embittering his whole life, in the form of deceptions, envies, false promises and episodes of cruel bad luck.
     One of the posthumous articles portrays him with a single masterstroke: "To create means to cut oneself off the regrets of the world, and Rocco Trimarchi the Master, the idealist, the dreamer ...creating he sweetened the bitter cup of his  disenchantments".

The bitter vicissitude of the "Municipal Musics" of Naples

Rocco Trimarchi

     In 1893, Rocco Trimarchi was declared winner of a public competition for "Director of the Municipal Musics", advertised by Naples Municipality, but the City Council was dissolved a short time before his official appointment.
     When the new City Council was finally constituted, in 1894 it abolished all the musical activities, for financial reasons, and in 1895 it declared that the above-mentioned competition "had never occured".
     As if it weren't enough, in 1897 it restored the municipal band, asking its former members (engaged by competition) to be part of it, and entrusting a special Commission with the reorganization.
     The long lawsuit between Rocco Trimarchi and the Municipality of Naples definitively ended in 1903, and the latest was condemned to pay 12.000 Italian lires of damages for the non-appointment of the master.

    Formerly Master of Chapel and Director of the Municipal Band of Sinopoli, in 1893 Rocco Trimarchi was appointed Director of the Municipal Band of Giarre (Catania - region Sicily), and one year later he signed a contract as "Director of the Stage Band" of the San Carlo Theatre of Naples, with the obligation of writing all the scores of the ballet and opera performances.

    Since 1897, for some years, he was also the "Director and Instructor of the Musical Schools and Band" of the Municipality of Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (Messina - region Sicily), in whose theatre he performed as a pianist too.
He married Francesca Gandolfo and they had two daughters: Erminia (1886) and Antonietta Gioconda (1890).
CLICK! Gibraltar & New YorkAfter many years of transfers and separations, always caused by professional reasons, including a long work contract in New York in 1905, which coincided with the devastating earthquake of region Calabria, all four moved definitively to Naples.
     His elder daughter Erminia, a violinist, married the clarinettist Arcangelo Picone, without having children, while the writer  Antonietta Gioconda married a highly-regarded doctor, Arturo Curci, whose family had established the Curci Musical House for the sale of musical instruments and scores. 

Francesca Gandolfo, moglie di Rocco Trimarchi

     From this marriage an only child was born: Glauco Curci, Rocco Trimarchi's only nephew, the ingenious "scientist-human Guinea pig" who solved in 1961 the world problem of the new anti-tubercular antibiotic Rifadin (Rifampin), unusable because too damaging, and renounced the patent, asking the Italian company "Lepetit" to establish a scholarship for young researchers. 

Gioconda ed Erminia Trimarchi

    In 1898 Rocco had an enthusiastic success at the Theatre Vittorio Emanuele of Messina (Sicily) with his opera "Rita Ferrant". On a newspaper of that time we learn that "...Trimarchi is also the author of another opera, I naufraghi, that should have been performed at the San Carlo Theatre of Naples, but it was never staged... because of a long succession of circumstances".

     He had professional relationships mainly with the Musical Publishing Houses Schmidl & C. from Trieste, G.Perrone and Calace from Naples, as well as the Aschenberg Hopwood & Crew LTD of London, that published a lot of his arias for voice and piano.  Some of the lyrics were written by his daughter Antonietta Gioconda.

     The real publishing activity of the Curci Musical House began to develop only since 1910, so it couldn't  collaborate with Rocco during the best years of his artistic production. Later, it published his  CLICK TO LISTEN TO THE MIDIFILE"Rajah-trot" " and  CLICK TO LISTEN TO THE MIDIFILE"Fior d'Oriente".

     In 1907 a long article, written by him, about the didactic value of important operas,  appeared on the first page of the "Rigoletto", a neapolitan magazine of music and theatre. 

The Municipality of Sinopoli for Master Rocco Trimarchi
An appeal to the feelings of Calabria and the advent of the I° World War

     On October 12th, 1914,  the town council of Sinopoli unanimously deliberated to address an appeal to the Province of Reggio Calabria and to all the Municipalities which belonged to it, to subsidy the performance of the new opera "La sposa dell'ombra" composed by Rocco Trimarchi, on "libretto" by the comedy writer Sandro Pastorino (Salerno-region Campania, 28/2/1882 - 27/1/1952).

     The original text of the deliberation, beyond referring to the proven musical value of Master Trimarchi, already applauded as a pianist and author in several Italian towns, it often mentions the many difficulties of his artistic career.

  The Municipalities involved in the appeal gave a prompt and generous answer.

We sincerely thank everybody, particularly the town councils whose deliberations we had the pleasure to read: Reggio Calabria, Pellaro, Seminara, Gerace, Gerace Marina, Gallico, Oppido Mamentina, San Giorgio Morgeto, Melicuccà, Mammola, Delianova, San Procopio, Tresilico, Scilla, Rosalì, Cannitello, Santo Stefano in Aspromonte, Cinquefrondi, Cosoleto, Scida, Grotteria, Varapodio, Terranova Sappominulio, S.Eufemia, Siderno, S.Cristina d'Aspromonte.

Rocco Trimarchi con il nipotino Glauco Curci
Rocco with his nephew Glauco

Telegramma dell'editore Lorenzo Sonzogno
A telegram
 by Lorenzo Sonzogno

     In 1915 some important agreements were taken with the famous Italian publisher Sonzogno and they were ready to fix the date for the first performance of Rocco's opera, (probably not the aforesaid "La sposa dell'ombra" but the more recent "Zamira"), when everything was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. 
     At the end of the conflict, many situations had irrevocably changed and the enthusiastic project vanished for ever.

    During the following years, the embittered and disheartened master Trimarchi fought more and more tiredly for his art.

     The only remarkable novelty was the success of his opera "Roma dei Cesari", performed in Reggio Calabria in Piazza Italia on January 12th, 1936, by the Municipal Orchestra, directed by master Tommaso Ferrante.
     But it was too late.
    Rocco, already broken in spirit by years of disenchantments, was also worn-out by an incurable disease, which lead him to the tomb six months later, in Naples, on July 24th, 1936.

la sua tessera di un anno prima della morte
His last document


His works

Firma di Rocco Trimarchi

La lupa
I naufraghi
Rita Ferrant
La sposa dell'ombra
Maria Maddalena
Quo vadis
Roma dei Cesari


ARIAS and other Melodies:

Pallide mammole
Fior d'oriente
Un bacio ancora
Chianto 'e passione
Io mi giurai
Lasciatemi morir
Fior di siepe
Anima affranta
Sulle ali

Serenata di un angelo
(for violin, cello and piano)
Moriran le rose
Più del corallo
Il Granato del Mago
Sogni d'arte e d'amore
Non più
Serenata di un angelo
Canzone ungherese
(for violin or mandolin and piano)
Inno a Francesco de Pinedo



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