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Lucca (Italy) the 22nd of Decembre 1858 - Bruxelles (Belgium) the 29th of Novembre 1924
Coming from a family of 5 musician generations, Giacomo Puccini first studied music in Lucques while he was also playing the organ in several churches. He decided to dedicate himself to opera during a performance of Verdi's composition Aida in 1876, and left to study at the Conservatory of Milano in 1880. There, he had Bazzini and Ponchielli as his masters.
Its first opera, Villi, was performed in Milano in 1884 and had such a success that the editor Ricordi asked him to composed Edgar (1889) and later in 1893, Manon Lescaut, that was a real triumph performed all over Europe and America. It marks the beginning of a rich collaboration with the librettists Giuseppe Giacosa e Luigi Illica. Then, Puccini decided to settle in Torre del Lago where he composed La Bohème, performed in Torino in 1896, under the direction of Arturo Toscanini (it remains one of the opera most performed in the world).
He got married with Elvira in 1904 and had a son. Later on, Puccini composed two love dramas : Tosca, created in 1900 in Roma and Madame Butterfly in 1904 in Milan for which he was inspired during a trip in London. In 1903, a serious car accident that made him lame. From this period, Puccini met some difficulties.
Nevertheless, he started to compose again. Inspired by the Far West, he wrote la Fanciulla del West : the première, that was a true success, took place at the Metropolitan Opera of New York in 1910, with Toscanini and Caruso. Then, in Il Trittico performed in New York in 1918, he gathered three one-act operas : Il Tabarro, verist inspirated drama, Suor Angelica, a sentimental tragedy and Gianni Schicchi, a little bouffe opera.
He started to compose the famous opera Turandot for the Scala, unachieved at his death (that will be finished by his friend Alfano). He died from a throat cancer in 1858.
Puccini is a composer linked to the rupture of the Verist movement. However he left his print in the Italian lyric tradition, enlightening the voice and the orchestra. Under modest appearances, his music is very elaborated and the vocal writing is absolutely perfect.