Giacomo Puccini


January 19, 2022

Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (22 December 1858 in Lucca - 29 November 1924 in Brussels) was an Italian composer. He is one of the most famous Italian opera composers along with Giuseppe Verdi and is considered to have developed the so-called bloody opera style to its peak.

Early years 1858–1890

Puccini was born in 1858 in the city of Lucca at Via del Poggio 30. He was descended from an old family of musicians. Giacomon was scheduled to follow his father’s career and become an organist in San Martino / San Pasolini. However, Father Michele Puccini died when Giacomo was five years old. After his father's death, his mother Albina took charge of Giacomo's upbringing and sent her son to his brother Fortunato Magi to study. At the age of ten, he joined the boys' choirs of the churches of San Marino and San Michel. Already at the age of 14 he worked as an organist in Lucca and composed church music. After school, in 1874, the young Giacomo began studying at the Istituto Pacini in Lucca with his teacher Carlo Angeloni. The trip to Pisa to see Aida, mentioned in many works in 1876, is a legend. Preludio sinfonico in 1876 and Messa in 1880 were Puccini's most notable compositions during this time. In 1880, mother Albina Puccini wrote to Queen Margherita of Savoy asking for a scholarship for her talented son. Indeed, Puccini began earning ITL 100 a month and began studying at the Milan Conservatory under Amilcare Ponchielli and Antonio Bazzin. As a fellow student, he has, among others, Pietro Mascagni. Financial support was also provided by his great-uncle, Dr. Nicolao Cerù. The final work of the conservatory was completed in 1883 by the Capriccio sinfonico In 1883, Puccini participated in the Casa Sonzogno composition competition with his single-act opera Le Villi. Puccini did not win, but the opera was performed in 1884 at the Teatro dal Verme. The work caught the attention of publisher Giulio Ricord. He commissioned Puccini's second opera, Edgar, which was completed in 1889. At the time of his mother's death in 1884, Puccini moved to a shared apartment in Monza with his life partner, Elvira Gemignan (b. Bonturi). In the same year, the couple's common son, Antonio, was born. The family moved frequently and lived in various places, such as Milan, Lucca, Sant'Antonio d'Adda, Caprino Bergamasco, Monza and Pizzameglio. In 1890, Puccini composed Crisantem for string quartet.

Mature season 1891–1917

In the summer of 1891, Puccini and his family settled in the modest house Casa Venanzie, which he rented in the village of Torre del Lago. The current Villa Museo Giacomo Puccini was built to replace Casa Venanzie. Puccini’s breakthrough work was his third opera, Manon Lescaut, completed in 1893, which made him world famous. La Bohème (1896) is considered Puccini's most romantic opera and has become one of the most popular operas in the world. After the success of Manon Lescaut and La Bohème, Puccini redeemed his tenement house in Torre del Lago and in 1898 bought an old farmhouse in Chiari (a village on Mount Quiesa). The farm has a magnificent view of Lago di Massaciuccoli. He built a house there, to which the family moved. At the same time, a new building was under construction in Torre del Lago, and when it was completed, the Puccini moved to the current Villa Puccini in 1900. Puccini was a passionate hunter and in Torre del Lago he was able to pursue this hobby as well. Chiatri stayed in the summer home and later Puccini bought another summer home in Abetone. The tragic-blooded Tosca (1900) is tragically toned in music. Tosca has established itself as one of the most performed operas of all time. In February 1903, Puccini was injured in a car accident that significantly slowed down his composing work. The composer broke his leg and had to recover for several months. Elvira Puccini (b. Bonturi) became Giacomo Puccini's legal wife on January 3, 1904. Madama Butterfly was completed in 1904. Oo

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