Armando Trovajoli: Composer best known for his ode to Rome's romantic magic

 

Armando Trovajoli, who died on 28 February at the age of 95, composed music for around 300 films. It was his lushly orchestrated and playful serenade to Rome, "Roma Nun Fa' La Stupida Stasera", a much-requested romantic stand-by for tourists, that became his most famous song.

Written for the 1962 stage musical Rugantino, Roma Nun Fa' La Stupida Stasera – which translated from the Roman dialect literally means "Rome, don't act silly this evening" – is sung by would-be suitors who beg the city to work its magic so romance might bloom. It was composed as a duet, and was first performed by Nino Manfredi and Lea Massari. It is featured on a recent Andrea Bocelli album of popular favourites, Passione.

He was born in Rome in September 1917, and after graduating from the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome he began working with a pop orchestra under the auspices of the Italian broadcaster RAI. In 1952-53 he collaborated with Piero Piccioni on Eclipse, a weekly broadcast in which the orchestra was directed alternately by the two composers. He was also making his way as a pianist, playing jazz and dance music. He appeared with many stars of jazz, including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.

In the 1950s his prolific relationship with the film world took off. He wrote for many of Italy's hit films over the next few decades, especially comedies. In 1951 Dino De Laurentiis gave Trovajoli his first scoring job, on Alberto Lattuada's successful drama Anna. Trovajoli composed two hit songs for Anna, "El negro zumbon" and "Non dimenticar", the latter covered in Italian by Nat King Cole.

He also wrote the music for two of Sophia Loren's most famous films, A Special Day and Two Women, which won her an Oscar. Others included the neo-realist classic Riso Amaro [Bitter Rice] and Marriage Italian Style, another Loren film. In 1957 Loren sang his "Che m'e mparato a ffa," which went to No 1 in Italy.

Among the directors turning to him were some of Italy's best in the decades following the Second World War, including Ettore Scola, Vittorio De Sica – with whom he collaborated on a number of projects, including one segment of Boccaccio '70 – Dino Risi and Luigi Comencini.

In a garlanded career Trovajoli, who was working on a satirical version of Puccini's Tosca when he died, won four David Awards, Italy's principal film honours, among many other prizes. The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, mourned Trovajoli's passing, saying in a statement that "the voice of Rome has been extinguished".

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before