Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini

Il Maestro

Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini


Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca December 22, 1858 by a family of four generations is dedicated to music, both on the paternal than maternal. His father, Michael (1813-1864) died when James was just over five years, and the musical education of the boy is entrusted to the maternal uncle Fortunato Magi, then Carlo Angeloni, both alumni of the father. Following the family tradition, Puccini became a chorister (1868), then organist (1872); and in this capacity he is also active as a composer early. In 1874 he allowed the institute Musicale Pacini of Lucca, and two years later he wrote the Prelude to orchestra. In 1880 he took leave from Lucca with Messa di Gloria (Mass of Glory) that receives an excellent and, attracted by the theater, in November he moved to Milan to sustain the entrance exam at the Conservatory, where his teachers Antonio Bazzini, only just over a month, and Amilcare Ponchielli. In July 1883 he completed his studies by running as the final essay symphonic Capriccio, directed by Franco Faccio, who is very well judged. In October, the publisher publishes Sonzogno melody for voice and piano Storiella love; at the same time he works in a one-act Le Willis, on a libretto by Ferdinando Fontana who got through the efforts of Ponchielli, and with this work participated in the first competition organized by Melodramatic Sonzogno. The work is not rewarded but, thanks to ‘help of some friends (including Ponchielli, Fountain, Arrigo Boito and Giulio Ricordi), is shown May 31, 1884 at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan, with great success. Remember the buy and gives the author commissioned to write another one. Puccini returned to Lucca, where he began living with Elvira Bonturi, wife of the grocer Narciso Gemignani, who will marry only in 1904. Had the new booklet Fontana, Edgar, a dark story dating whose plot is reminiscent of Carmen, it begins the writing music with little conviction in the meantime (summer 1886) he moved to Monza with Elvira and her daughter, Fosca, and here on December 23 will be born the only son, Antonio. When Edgar finally staged (Milan, Scala, April 21, 1889), it is a failure, the rest largely provided by the author and the publisher, which, however, confirms its confidence in the composer. Are difficult times for Puccini, who in the meantime has been based in Milan, and think of new subjects: Sardou’s Tosca and Manon Lescaut Prévost. Is chosen this subject, despite the risk of a dangerous confrontation with the acclaimed opera by Massenet and, in 1890, after a hard work of collaboration between Memories, Leoncavallo, Domenico Oliva and Marco Prague, the booklet is ready and can Puccini begin our composition in the new house of Torre del Lago. But before the work can be considered finished (autumn 1892), the booklet must be undergone extensive rebuilding trust in Luigi Illica with the advice of Giuseppe Giacosa. The February 1, 1893 triumph of Manon Lescaut brings to an end a long period of uncertainty: not only the subject more congenial, but also acquired the consciousness of having to exercise a regular check on the development libretto are the basis of the attained mastery.

Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini

A few months after Puccini chooses la Vie de Bohème Murger, and the booklet is still entrusted to Illica, with the collaboration of Giuseppe Giacosa. Working with a series of ups and downs of excitement and puzzlement that will remain a constant work Puccini covers all 1894 and 1895. And only on February 1 next La Bohème has its baptism in Turin with a lukewarm success, But that is making impressive during replication and during the shooting in other Italian theaters. Meanwhile Puccini is often on the road, followed by performances of his works in various Italian cities and abroad: since 1892 has been in Madrid for Edgar and Hamburg to Le Villi; then he went to Vienna and Paris, where in 1898 presents La Bohème with great success. However, the search for a new subject for the next work become a major concern of Puccini: Tosca and resurfaces the project, entrusted to the well proven experience of Illica and Giacosa. Processing libretto is once again very painful, even for perplexed Image and Giacosa, and the effort to adapt to the needs of Sardou. As in La Bohème, also the first contact of the public with Tosca (Rome, 14 January 1900) is not exciting, but just a few months because the new work enters also in the repertoire of the major European theaters. In July 1900 Puccini saw in London drama Long and Belasco Madame Butterfly: the person who is chosen, setting aside other ideas, including a Marie Antoinette. I am always working Illica and Giacosa, struggling with the usual concerns; but the slowness with which we proceed this time is also caused by a serious car accident (in February 1903), which results in Puccini a broken leg and a particularly long convalescence. The first version of Madama Butterfly, in two acts (Milan, Scala, February 17, 1904) is a dismal failure; but only three months after the resumption of Brescia, in three acts, with some modifications and broad cuts, determine the success of the work. Now he talks about it to Marie Antoinette, and a triptych of stories of Gorky; It is also the time to travel to London and a long stay in Buenos Aires (1905). Then it was the turn of New York (1907), where Puccini had the opportunity to see a play by Belasco, who will be behind the new opera La Fanciulla del West. The librettists this time are Carlo Zangarini and Guelph Civinini. and the first performance took place, with a warm success, at the Metropolitan in New York (December 10, 1910). With the death of Giulio Ricordi (6 June 1912) ends the most intense creative period of Puccini, which is now attracted to the idea of ​​a collaboration with D’Annunzio, and back to think of a series of three one-act plays. On all these projects prevails, however the substantial offer to Viennese operetta, which will be the swallow, written by Giuseppe Adami and destined publisher Sonzogno: born in the war years, in the face of great perplexity, the new work is represented in Montecarlo March 27, 1917, and will never have an easy time, despite the glaring changes which will be submitted. Meanwhile he took shape the “Triptych”, including Il Tabarro written by Giuseppe Adami, and two texts of Gioachino Forzano, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi; The triptych is staged December 14, 1918 at the Metropolitan in New York. Turandot is the new entity that chooses Puccini early 1920 and which entrusts the elaboration of the well-proven libretto Giuseppe Adami, which joins the theatrical experience of Renato Simoni. It ‘a work that engages Puccini for many years, with a particularly alternate course, also because the composer suffer from throat in October 1924 will be diagnosed as cancer. In late 1923, the Turandot is almost complete, but still lack the final duet, the text of which is painstakingly reworked. While any tweaks and revisions, in September 1924 Puccini makes arrangements with Toscanini for the first performance, scheduled for April next, but on November 4, with the final duet not yet composed, Puccini to Brussels, where He was admitted to a clinic. 24 is operated by the throat, and died on November 29, 1924.

Taken from: Dizionario Pucciniano by Eduardo Rescigno (Ricordi edition).

Le Opere

Le Willis
Dramatic legend in one act and two scenes, libretto by Ferdinando Fontana, from the story Les Wilis (1852) Alphonse Karr. first performance in Milan, Teatro Dal Verme, May 31, 1884 The new version of Le Villi Willis Opera ballet in two acts libretto by Ferdinando Fontana, from the story Les Wilis (1852) Alphonse Karr. first performance: Turin, Teatro Regio, December 27, 1884

Opera in four acts, libretto by Ferdinando Fontana taken from the dramatic poem La coupe et les lèvres (1832) by Alfred de Musset. first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, April 21, 1889 New version Opera in three acts first performance: Ferrara, City Theatre, January 28, 1892 Final version first performed in three acts: Buenos Aires, Teatro Colón, July 8, 1905

Manon Lescaut
Opera in four acts, libretto by Anonymous (collaborate Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa) based on the novel Histoire du Chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut (1731) of Antoine-François Prévost. first performance: Turin, Teatro Regio, February 1, 1893 the final version: Milan, La Scala, February 7, 1894

La Boheme
Scenes from La Vie de Bohème by Henry Murger, in four scenes, libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica based on the novel Scenes de la vie de bohème (1847 – 1849) first performance: Turin, Teatro Regio February 1, 1896

Opera in three acts, libretto by Victorien Sardou, Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa from the play La Tosca (1887) by Victorien Sardou first performance: Rome, Teatro Costanzi, 14 January 1900

Madama Butterfly
Japanese tragedy in two acts, libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica based on the story Madame Butterfly (1898) by John Luther Long and the Japanese tragedy of the same name (1900) and Long and David Belasco drew from the story. first performance: Milan, La Scala, February 17, 1904 Second version in two acts, the second in two parts Brescia, Teatro Grande, May 28, 1904 Third version in two acts London, Covent Garden, July 10, 1905 Final version in three acts (in French) Paris, Opéra Comique, 28 December 1906 in three acts (in Italian) New York, Metropolitan Opera House, February 10, 1907

La Fanciulla del West
Opera in three acts, libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini drama The Girl of the Golden West (1905) by David Belasco. premiere: New York, Metropolitan Opera House, December 10, 1910 premiere in Italy: Rome, Teatro Costanzi, 12 June 1911

La Rondine
Lyrical comedy in three acts libretto by Giuseppe Adami on a story by Arthur Maria Willner and Heinz Reichter. first performance: Monte Carlo, Théâtre de l’Opéra, March 27, 1917

Trittico: Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi
Il Tabarro Drama in one act, libretto by Giuseppe Adami, based on the play La Houppelande (1910) by Didier Gold. premiere: New York, Metropolitan Opera House, December 14, 1918 premiere in Italy: Rome, Teatro Costanzi of, Jan. 11, 1919 Sister Angelica Drama in one act, libretto by Joachim Forzano premiere: New York, Metropolitan Opera House, December 14 1918 premiere in Italy: Rome, the Teatro Costanzi, 11 January 1919 Gianni Schicchi Opera in one act, libretto by Joachim Forzano, based on the comment of the Divine Comedy ” Anonymous Fiorentino “, published by Piero Fanfani (1866) first performance: New York, Metropolitan Opera House, December 14, 1918 premiere in Italy: Rome, the Teatro Costanzi, 11 January 1919

Opera in three acts, libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni homonym theatrical fable (1762) by Carlo Gozzi. The last duet and the finale of the opera sketchy. first posthumous completed by Franco Alfano: Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 25 April 1926

Vocal and Instrumental Music

1876 – Preludio a orchestra in Mi minore-maggiore. ante 1880 – A te, per voce e pianoforte 1877 – Mottetto per San Paolino «Plaudite Populi» 1878 – «Credo» per tenore, coro e orchestra 1878? – Vexilla Regis, inno per coro maschile e organo 1878-80 – Messa a quattro voci con orchestra per soli (tenore e baritono) coro e orchestra 1881-3 circa – Largo Adagetto in Fa maggiore per orchestra 1882 – Preludio sinfonico in La maggiore per orchestra 1882 circa – Quartetto d’archi in Re maggiore 1881-1883 circa- Fughe reali per quartetto d’archi.- Andante poco mosso in Do minore;Andante sostenuto in La maggiore – Fughe a quattro voci Moderato in Re minore, Largo in Do minore, Allegro moderato in Sol maggiore, Moderato sostenuto in Do maggiore, Largo in Mi minore, Sol maggiore, Do maggiore, Andante mosso in Sol maggiore, Piuttosto lento in Sol minore 1883 – Salve Regina, per soprano e armonium 1883 – Capriccio sinfonico in Fa maggiore per orchestra 1883 – Mentìa l’avviso, recitativo e aria per tenore e pianoforte 1883 – Ad una morta, lirica per mezzosoprano o baritono e pianoforte 1883 – Storiella d’amore, melodia per canto e pianoforte 1884 – Tre minuetti per quartetto d’archi 1888 – Sole e amore, mattinata per canto e pianoforte 1890 – Crisantemi, elegia per quartetto d’archi 1894 – Piccolo valzer per pianoforte 1896 – Avanti Urania!, lirica per voce e pianoforte 1897 – Inno a Diana, per canto e pianoforte 1899 – E l’uccellino, ninna nanna per canto e pianoforte 1899 – Scossa elettrica, marcia per pianoforte 1902 – Terra e mare, lirica per canto e pianoforte 1904 – Canto d’anime, pagina d’album per canto e pianoforte 1905 – Requiem per coro a tre voci, viola, armonium o organo Eseguito a Milano, il 27 gennaio 1905, in occasione del quarto anniversario della morte di Giuseppe Verdi. 1905 – Ecce Sacerdos magnus, per coro a quattro voci. 1905 – Dios y Patria, per voce e pianoforte 1908 – Casa mia, casa mia, lirica per canto e pianoforte 1907 o 1910 – Piccolo tango per pianoforte 1907 o 1910 – Foglio d’album per pianoforte 1912 – Sogno d’or, ninna nanna per voce e pianoforte 1916 – Pezzo per pianoforte (Calmo e molto lento). 1917 – circa – Morire?, lirica per canto e pianoforte 1919 – Inno a Roma, per canto e pianoforte

The Librettists

Ferdinando Fontana (1850 – 1919) Giuseppe Giacosa (1847 – 1906) Luigi Illica (1857 – 1919) Puccini / Illica / Giacosa Giuseppe Adami (1878 – 1946) Renato Simoni (1875 – 1952) Puccini / Adami / Simoni