In opera, verismo was a post-Romantic operatic tradition associated with Italian composers such as Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Umberto Giordano and Giacomo Puccini. They sought to bring the naturalism of influential late 19th-century writers such as Émile Zola and Henrik Ibsen into opera. The style began in 1890 with the first performance of Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, peaked in the early 1900s, and lingered into the 1920s. The style is distinguished by realistic – sometimes sordid or violent – depictions of everyday life, especially the life of the contemporary lower classes. It by and large rejects the historical or mythical subjects associated with Romanticism. The term may also be used more broadly to refer to the entire output of these composers and others of the giovane scuola who were active in Italy during that period.