December 22, 1858
November 29, 1924 in Brussels, Belgium
Also Known As:
His full name was Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini. He was an Italian composer of the Romantic period; he came from a lineage of church musicians. Puccini became a church organist himself when he was 14 but would soon discover he preferred opera.
Type of Compositions:
He is primarily known as an opera composer although he also composed choral, orchestral and chamber music. Puccini's music is described as emotional, sentimental and well-crafted.
Puccini's uncle, Fortunato Magi, was his first music instructor. This was followed by Carlo Angeloni, the director of the Instituto Musicale Pacini. He studied at the Milan Conservatory from 1880 to 1883 where Antonio Bazzini and Amilcare Ponchielli became his teachers. Puccini was also also influenced by the works of Giuseppe Verdi, specifically his opera "Aida."
Among his notable works are "Le villi" (1884), "Edgar" (1889), "Manon Lescaut" (1893), "La Bohème" (1896), "Tosca" (1890), "Madama Butterfly" (1904), "La fanciulla del West" (The Girl of the Golden West, 1907) and "Turandot" which was left unfinished when Puccini died. "Turandot" was completed by Franco Alfano and premiered in 1926.
"Le villi" was Puccini's non-winning entry to the Sonzogno one-act opera competition held in 1882. "La bohème," which is considered one of Puccini's greatest works, was not highly regarded at first. In fact "Manon Lescaut" was more favored, but "La bohème" would soon gain popularity nonetheless. During the premiere of "Madam Butterfly" chaos ensued fueled by Puccini's detractors.
Other Interesting Facts:
Another incident involving the suicide of a female servant in the Puccini household affected Puccini's reputation. Puccini's wife accused the maid of having an affair with Puccini but it was later proven to be a false allegation. Puccini's residence has been turned into a museum called "Villa Museo Puccini" where Puccini, his wife and their son are buried in a chapel within the premises.
Look at the full score of Giacomo Puccini's "La Bohème".