Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer who was born in 1858.
He was from a musical family – in
This section of Puccini’s blog reads a little bit like a soap opera. In 1884, aged twenty four he began an affair with a married woman called Elvira. She had an unhappy marriage as her husband was a notorious womanizer. However, his actions caught up with him as he was killed by the husband of one of the women he was having an affair with. His death coincided almost to the day when Giacomo, Elvira and their son Antonio had a serious car crash in which Giacomo got trapped underneath the vehicle. Fortunately, all three survived and it was at this point that Giacomo and Elvira could marry and
Marriage wasn’t the bliss that Giacomo and Elvira had envisaged, and Puccini became quite a ladies man having many affairs. As a consequence of this Elvira ended up going prison for five months after publicly announcing Puccini’s affair with their maid which lead to her suicide… (the autopsy revealed the maid died a virgin).
I am sure the soap opera continued, but ..
Back to Puccini’s Music
Puccini built his reputation after writing Capriccio Sinfonico for his thesis for the Milan Conservatory. It was performed in 1883
Puccini’s most renowned works:
- 1896 La Bohème
- 1900 Tosca
- 1904 Madama Butterfly
- 1924 Turandot
Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème was not always so famous. At the time it was first performed, another opera with the same name by Ruggiero Leoncavallo was more successful. It took about ten years for audiences to decide that Puccini’s version was the best.
Following Puccini’s Madama Butterfly people called Japanese women butterflies. Puccini made various revisions to this opera and today the standard version is the fifth.
Many of the worlds greatest sopranos have put their mark on this opera including Maria Callas, Eva Marton, Leontyne Price and Renata Tebaldi.
Sadly Puccini did not finish his final opera Turandot due to suffering
Turandot contains one of the most famous aria’s Nessum Dorma which is sung all around the world today. We have almost forty arrangements of this piece on our site for various instruments and ensembles. Just click on the link above and then similar titles on the
I couldn’t finish the blog off without listening to the beautiful Nessum Dorma from Turandot, sung by none other than Pavorotti.