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This is about the life and works of Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini. Puccini was born December 22, 1858, in Lucca, Italy. When he was growing up he had eight other siblings. His father’s name was Michele Puccini and his mother’s name is Albina Magi. It’s no surprise that Puccini is famous, he comes from a long line of great church musicians. Starting with his great-great-grandfather also named Giacomo (1712-1781). From his great-great-grandfather down to his father they all studied music at Bologna.
Since the story of Giacomo Puccini is so old some of the information given isn’t always going to be 100% correct. Such as how Puccini father (Michele Puccini) died when he was around the age 5 and others say 6 so around that age. His father could not teach him about music, and he couldn’t take over his father’s position because of course, he was too young. But when Piccini was a teenager he went and saw an opera called Aida by an Italian composer named Giuseppe Verdi, and no longer wanted to be apart of just church music but study opera music. So Puccini had done many different things learn about music. His general education was at the seminary of San Michele in Lucca, and then at the seminary of the cathedral. Then he got a diploma from the Pacini School of music in Lucca in 1880. After that, he continued his education at the Milan Conservatory and studied composition. Puccini studied at the conservatory for three years. At the age of 21, Piccini has composed his Mass, continuing his family’s legacy with church music in their hometown Lucca.
Puccini had written many different operas. Some of the operas from the earlier time of his career were Le Villi, Edgar, and Manon Lescaut as his first three. After the first two operas people were unsure of Piccini but then his third was a bit different from the last two and the reason being is because Piccini had a different attitude about it. Such as him saying he was going to write it by himself so no one could spoil it. Because of this everyone thought that he could be the most promising composer of his generation and most likely successor. Now going into the middle of Puccini’s career was his next opera which was and still is one of Puccini most famous operas that he wrote. The name of the opera is called La Boheme. It is a four-act-opera based on an 1851 book by Henri Murger. The opera first premiered on February 1, 1896, in Turin, and was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. After a few years, it had been performed at almost every opera house in Europe, Britain, and in the United States. Then after La Boheme Puccini started another opera called Tosca. This opera is a little different because it was originally a play by Victorien Sardou before Puccini made it an opera. So in order for him to make this an opera he had to get permission. So in 1889, he wrote his publisher Giulio Ricordi begging him to get Sardou’s permission to make this his next opera. In January 1900 the opera premiered in Rome. Though everyone was still excited by it they were a little cautious because it was already a play and weren’t sure what to really expect. Then Puccini had his next idea for an opera. He got the idea from attending a play called Madam Butterfly in New York City, he decided that this might be good to start to his next opera. So many years later on February 17, 1904, Madam Butterfly was premiered at La Scala. Some people disliked it because it was too long and was too much like Puccini ’s other operas. Later on, Madam Butterfly was eventually split up into three shorter acts, and by doing this it became more popular in subsequent performances. After this Puccini decided to travel and watch his operas to make sure they met his expectations though he still continued to watch other peoples in order to come up with more ideas for operas.
During Puccini’s life wasn’t always this great though. February 25, 1903, Puccini was in an automobile accident in the nighttime on his way from Lucca to Torre del Lago. Puccini was being driven by his chauffeur. In the vehicle was Puccini, his wife Elvira, and their son Antonio. The vehicle went off the road falling many meters and flipped over. Piccini’s wife and son flew out of the car and managed to just have some minor injuries. The chauffeur has also flown out of the car and had a serious fracture of his femur. Puccini had the worst of it, he was stuck under the car with a fracture of his right leg and a portion of the car pressing on his chest. Not far away from where the accident happened, a doctor lived and they brought a few more people to help get Puccini out and save him. The injury was a very major injury and without modern medicine to help it took several months of recovery. But not only did he have several months of recovery but through all of the medical examinations they had also found out that Puccini was suffering from a form of diabetes. This happened before his opera Madama Butterfly which is why it was so long before it was premiered from his last one because he was struggling to finish it with his injuries. But he still continued to write and made many more operas after that.
Then in 1923 Puccini was complaining about a sore throat and went to go see a doctor. When he got there he was diagnosed with throat cancer. Though by the time he had finally went in they told him they the cancer is too far that it was inoperable. He had traveled trying to find a better doctor by going to Brussels in 1924 for an experimental radiation treatment. With him being too weak to handle the procedure he died seven days later in the hospital on November 29, 1924. When Puccini died he was known as the most commercially successful opera composer of all time. Puccini had an initial burial in Milan. But in 1926 his body was moved to his old estate Torre del Lago. They had a small chapel conducted to hold his remains. Now there is an opera celebration called “Festival Puccini” is held in the town where he was from every year in honor of their most famous resident.
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