Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (Italian Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini; December 22, 1858, Lucca - November 29, 1924, Brussels) - Italian opera composer, organist and choirmaster, one of the brightest representatives of the "verismo" direction in music. Some researchers believe that he is the largest Italian opera composer after Verdi.
Puccini was born in Lucca, into a musical family, one of seven children. The dynasty of musicians in the Puccini family was founded in Lucca by Giacomo's great-great-grandfather (1712-1781) and his namesake. After the death of his father, Michele Puccini (1813–1864), the five-year-old Puccini was sent to study with his uncle Fortunato Maggi, who considered him a bad, undisciplined student and, according to a contemporary biographer of the composer, rewarded him with a painful kick in the shin for every false note, after which Puccini had a reflex pain in his leg all his life from false notes. Subsequently, Puccini received a job as a church organist and choirmaster. He wanted to become an opera composer when he first heard a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida in Pisa.
For four years, Puccini studied at the Milan Conservatory. In 1882 he participated in the competition of one-act operas. Not winning first prize, his opera The Willis was staged in 1884 at the Dal Verme Theatre. This opera attracted the attention of Giulio Ricordi, the head of an influential publishing house specializing in publishing scores. Ricordi ordered Puccini a new opera. It became "Edgar".
His third opera, Manon Lescaut, completed in 1893, was a huge success. Despite the obvious influence of Richard Wagner, Puccini's talent was revealed in this opera in almost its full splendor. The same opera marks the start of Puccini's work with librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa.
Puccini's next opera, La bohème (based on the novel by Henri Murger), brought Puccini worldwide fame. At the same time, an opera with the same name and based on the same novel was written by Ruggero Leoncavallo, as a result of which a conflict arose between the two composers, and they stopped communicating.
La Boheme was followed by Tosca, which premiered at the turn of the century, in 1900. Under pressure from prima donnas