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Giacomo Puccini

December 22, 1858 - November 29, 1924
born in Lucca, Italy, composed during the Romantic period
Giacomo Puccini was the most important composer of Italian opera after Verdi. He wrote in the verismo style, a counterpart to the movement of Realism in literature and a trend that favored subjects and characters from everyday life for opera. On his often commonplace settings Puccini lavished memorable melodies and lush orchestration. It was around the turn of the twentieth century that he reached his artistic zenith, composing in succession his three most popular and effective operas, La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly.

Young Giacomo took organ lessons early on from his uncle, Fortunato Magi, and later from Carlo Angeloni. At ten, he sang in local church choirs and by age 14 was freelancing as an organist at religious services. His first compositions were for organ, often incorporating operatic and folk elements. By age 18, under the spell of Verdi's Aida, he decided he would study composition with a view to writing opera. At around this time, he composed his first large-scale work, a cantata, Preludio Sinfonico, for an 1877 competition. Other pieces came in the next few years, but none of significance.

In 1880, Puccini entered the Milan Conservatory, where he studied for three years under Ponchielli and Bazzini. While there, he wrote his first opera, Le villi, which he once more entered in a competition. Though he lost, Arrigo Boito and, more importantly, publisher Giulio Ricordi helped arrange a premiere in Milan on May 31, 1884. The work was enthusiastically received, and Puccini was on his way.

Around this time the composer met Elvira Gemignani, wife of a merchant in Lucca. They carried on an illicit affair, and she gave birth to his son in 1886. When her husband died in 1904, the two were married. Puccini's next opera, Edgar, was poorly received at its 1889 premiere. Subsequent revisions failed to rescue it from its encumbering libretto. His next effort, however, Manon Lescaut, was a sensational success at its 1893 Turin premiere. Subsequent performances in Italy and abroad bolstered the composer's growing reputation.

Puccini's next three operas confirmed his preeminence in Italian opera. La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), and Madama Butterfly (1904) were not immediately as successful as Manon Lescaut, but in time achieved greater acclaim. By the middle of the twentieth century, they had become -- and remain today -- his most often performed and recorded works.

Puccini suffered a creative dry spell for a time and was unable to finish another opera until the moderately successful La fanciulla del West (1910), which premiered in New York with Toscanini conducting and Caruso singing the role of Johnson. His sluggishness of inspiration owed much to charges by his wife he was having an affair with a servant girl, charges that drove the hapless, and as it turned out, innocent young girl to suicide in 1909.

In 1913, Puccini accepted a lucrative commission from Vienna interests, which resulted in La rondine. Received warmly at its 1917 Monte Carlo premiere, it faded under the judgment it was the least of his operatic efforts. Puccini followed this disappointment with his trilogy of one-act operas, Il trittico -- comprised of Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi -- all premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1918. Only the latter work, a comedy, was well received.

While Puccini was working on his last opera, Turandot, he was diagnosed with throat cancer (1923). During radiation treatment in Brussels, he suffered a heart attack and died on November 29, 1924. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: E Lucevan Le Stelle (Radio Single)

x

Track List: Essential Puccini

Disc 1
Title: Turandot, Opera
Title: Tosca, Opera
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Title: La Fanciulla Del West (The Girl Of The Golden West), Opera
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera
Title: Suor Angelica, Opera
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera
Title: Turandot, Opera
Title: La Bohème, Opera
Title: Tosca, Opera
Title: La Rondine (The Swallow), Opera
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Title: Tosca, Opera
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera
Title: Tosca, Opera
Title: La Bohème, Opera
Disc 2
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Title: La Fanciulla Del West (The Girl Of The Golden West), Opera
Title: La Bohème, Opera
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera
Title: Turandot, Opera
Title: La Fanciulla Del West (The Girl Of The Golden West), Opera
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Title: Turandot, Opera
Title: La Bohème, Opera
x

Track List: La Boheme, Act III: Donde Lieta Usci (Single)

x

Track List: Puccini - La Rondine / Gheorghiu · Alagna · Matteuzzi · Mula · Rinaldi · Ciofi · Bacelli · LSO · Pappano

Disc 1
Title: La Rondine (The Swallow), Opera
Disc 2
x

Track List: Puccini - Messa di Gloria / Alagna, Hampson, Pappano

Title: Preludio Sinfonico, For Orchestra In A Major
Title: Mass For Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Chorus & Orchestra In A Flat Major ("Messa Di Gloria")
x

Track List: Puccini - Tosca / Gheorghiu, Alagna, Raimondi, Antonio Pappano (2001 film)

Disc 1
Title: Tosca, Opera
Disc 2
x

Track List: Puccini - Turandot / Sutherland · Pavarotti · Caballé · Ghiaurov · Krause · Pears · LPO · Mehta

x

Track List: Puccini : La Boheme

Disc 1
Title: La Bohème, Opera
Disc 2
x

Track List: Puccini: Madama Butterfly (complete opera) with Maria Callas, Lucia Danieli, Nicolai Gedda, Herbert von Karajan, Chorus & Orchestra of La Scala, Milan

Disc 1
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Disc 2
x

Track List: Puccini: Manon Lescaut

Disc 1
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera
Disc 2
x

Track List: Puccini: Tosca

Disc 1
Disc 2
x

Track List: Puccini: Tosca (Remastered 1953 Recording)

Disc 1
Disc 2
x

Track List: The Puccini Experience

Disc 1
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera
Title: La Bohème, Opera
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera
Title: Tosca, Opera
Disc 2
Title: La Rondine (The Swallow), Opera
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Title: Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums), Elegy For String Quartet
Title: Suor Angelica, Opera
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera
Title: Il Tabarro (The Cloak), Opera
Title: Le Villi, Opera
Title: Edgar, Opera
Title: Preludio Sinfonico, For Orchestra In A Major
Title: Turandot, Opera
Title: La Fanciulla Del West (The Girl Of The Golden West), Opera

Comments

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Just would also like to say, that the music is wonderful, it brings back so many memories of my father and the first time my mother and he took my sisters and brother to an opera, I fell in love. Classical and Opera were a very big part of my youth, it is a shame children now a days don't have the opportunity to hear such beautiful pieces and how if you close your eyes they can take you to another world or on stage with the performers. They really don't know what they are or have been missing
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why are you now posting biography on the composer verses the tenor, this is fine I enjoy learning about the composer but every time a Puccini or Hayden, or Giuseppe Verdi etc. is played it is the same information. Can't this be mixed up a little perhaps if it is the same tenor/sopran o singing on the same album then add the biography of the composer, this is the 4th time I read about this composer and not of the tenor. Don't get me wrong I enjoy learning and the music is delightful.
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I would put my babies in the bassinet and they would sleep so silently to this beautiful music. Pavarotti, and so on I grew up with this music playing constantly as my grandmother made homemade sauce , my mother did the same now both gone this is my memory
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I am expanding my knowledge of opera here. I go to sleep with it at night. Just took a hot bath with this music and a lighted candle. So beautiful and relaxing. Lakme is my fave.
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How about Puccini's violin concerto with Perlman performing? Please?
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No mention of his vast travels around the world, which ALL were being done for t h e first time. With all respect to Verdi, Puccini...fo u n d and the core of these highly romantic operas for those places he had visited.
How about that Nesan Dorma, oh my...the list is too great..
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��
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Amazing
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jprecobb8
O mio caro babbino is one of the most beautiful arias that exists
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Madame Fleming sings beautifully, her Puccini and Verdi rendition s are chez manifique!!!
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gpurrs
puccini is ok, not a like
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I love Puccini truly a genius
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Love Puccini
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Smcalles, would you kindly support your assertion.
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That sene in mr. Bean when he's acting to this song in the street for money. Lol
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smcalles
Giacomo Puccini was the most important composer of Italian opera after Verdi is an insupportabl e statement.
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scott7881
LDS Missionary Expo Benefit Concert October 3rd at the UCCU Center featuring singing-sens a t i o n Nathan Pacheco, Grammy Nominated and Billboard #1 violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, the amazing 9-man a cappella ensemble BYU’s Vocal Point, piano phenom Rebecca Pacheco, and Utah’s Best in State American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic . The Benefit Concert is sponsored by Summerhays Music and presented by LDS Missionary Expo.

Tickets available through SmithTix. or at: http://smith s t i x . c o m / e v e n t s / i t e m / r o o t / m i s
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His voice, incredible, absolutely beautiful
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Turandot is amazing
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L
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Was in the bathroom when this came on, tried to get done in time to change it out of respect but didn't make it.
Good tune though, keep em coming
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Love it!!!
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IN FRONT OF MY PARENT'S PHILCO RADIO ON SATURDAY MORNINGS LISTENING TO THIS AND MANY MORE FROM THE MET OPERA HOUSE. MEMORIES MEMORIES
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Think someone♡
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Love this voice ......
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Remimds me of Sunday mornings with my Dad.
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beautifull memory
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Just relaxing ....
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I love you're classic
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At first i was like Wha? Then i realized, she's singing un bel di in english...si g h , kinda takes away from the power of this song...
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trayte.peter s
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
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Where is the bio on Maria callas ?
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I also wish Pandora would list names of individual songs along with the singer in the classical/op e r a collections.
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Brings tears because its perfect
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kiri te kanawa singing
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wilson.kingj r 4
This was Che Gelida manina. It appears that Pandora is only identifying the Operas and not the specific songs/arias under Now Playing. I am trying to expand my appreciation of opera and that information would be useful.
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rc4bach
This is Roberto Alagna, who I think is the most emotional opera singer I have ever heard. He might not be as technically perfect as Pavarotti, but his singing is much more beautiful and soulful! And Musetta is sung by his then-wife, Angela Gheorgiu.
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leongmiller
Who is singing Musetta? It's not Netrebko
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lkgrebnel
Though they die yet they live. . .
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Sorry, but Luciano Pavaroti was not a composer, A superv singer yes, but not a composer unfortunatel y .
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wtgmusic2
Nathan Pacheco's the man!
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Beautiful!:- D
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brenda.trant h a m
Enjoying this while watching my 3 year old dance around the room :)
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Wow
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sheshebell
I love this composition. . . So beautiful. I don't understand a word he's saying but it makes me feel like I want to cry when I listen to it.
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charlesldavi d s o n 2 0 0 3
the female is Anna Netrebko
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0.0 totally amazed
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ptraynham
does anyone know who the singer is on this track?
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Once in London I listen a beautiful composition of Puccini was opera with voices of angels and came so deeple in that moment. My inspiration wos so high make me say poems for 30 mts. hahah!
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hidesertlivi n g
I heartily agree with Nick and Ellece.
Show more

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