Armando Trovajoli, 95, composer of Rome theme song
By FRANCES D’EMILIO Associated Press March 2, 2013 8:06PM
FILE -- In this file photo taken at the Sanremo song festival on March 2, 2007, Italian composer Armando Trovajoli waves during a photo call. Trovajoli, who composed music for some 300 films and wrote a serenade to Rome popular with tourists, has died in Rome at age 95. Among Trovajoli's hits was "Roma nun fa' la stupida stasera," a romantic melody played for visitors to Rome. He composed scores for Italian hit movies including "A Special Day" and "Two Women," starring Sophia Loren, and the neorealism classic "Riso Amaro." A pianist, he played alongside such jazz greats as Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Chet Baker. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Updated: April 4, 2013 7:03AM
ROME — Armando Trovajoli, an Italian who composed music for some 300 films and whose lush and playful serenade to Rome is a much-requested romantic standby for tourists, has died at age 95.
The city’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno, mourned Mr. Trovajoli’s passing, saying in a statement that ‘‘the voice of Rome has been extinguished.” The Italian news agency ANSA said widow Maria Paola Trovajoli announced the death Saturday, saying her husband had died a few days before in Rome but declining to give the exact date.
Roman by birth, Mr. Trovajoli began his musical career as a pianist, playing jazz and dance music. He appeared with many jazz stars, among them Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.
In the 1950s, his prolific relationship with the film world took flight. Mr. Travojoli composed for many of Italy’s hit movies of the next decades, especially comedies.
He 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 neorealist classic ‘‘Riso Amaro (Bitter Rice)” and ‘‘Marriage Italian Style,” another Loren film.
Among the directors turning to him were some of Italy’s best in the decades following World War II, including Ettore Scola, Vittorio De Sica, Dino Risi and Luigi Comencini.
But it the lushly orchestrated ‘‘Roma nun fa’ la stupida stasera” written for the 1962 stage musical ‘‘Rugantino” that became Mr. Trovajoli’s most famous song.
The title, translated from the Roman dialect, literally means ‘‘Rome, don’t act silly this evening.” Composed as a duet, it is sung by would-be suitors who beg the city to put on its magic so romance might bloom.
The first performance was sung by Nino Manfredi and Lea Massari, and it is featured on a recently released Andrea Bocelli album of pop favorites.