THE HOUSE - MUSEUMS OF GIACOMO PUCCINI II
a good composer, who wrote five operas, a significant number of concert songs for voice and piano, piano works and several orchestral pieces. Among his several generations of pupils, furthermore than the famous Giacomo Puccini, make also stand out the celebrated Tuscan composer Alfredo Catalani (Lucca, 1854 – Milan, 1893) who pertained to the artistic movement of the second half of the 19th known as the “Scapigliatura Milanese”, which was integrated by the most progressive Italian artists of the age, who in opera subjects were more close to the composition and staging style established by Richard Wagner than to the contemporary and most conservative “Verista” one.
At the present, the most performed and admired operas written by Catalani are: “Loreley” (1890) and “La Wally” (1892).
Puccini started singing in the children’s choir of the Cathedral of San Martino. When he was 15 years old he begun to play the organ in the churches located in the nearness of the Cathedral.
In 1876, Puccini composed his first work: a “Symphonique Prelude for orchestra”. Between 1877 and 1878 he composed “Plaudite Populi” for baritone, chorus and orchestra and a “Credo”.
In 1880, Giacomo Puccini left Lucca and went to reside to Milan to improve his studies of composition at the High Conservatoire of the capital city of Lombardy. He began studying with the celebrated teacher, composer and violinist Antonio Bazzini (Brescia, 1818 – Milan, 1897). Thanks to the teaching received by Bazzini, Puccini composed a quartet string into late Romantic German style and devoted it to his teacher.
In 1881, he passed to study with the great composer Amilcare Ponchielli (Paderno Ponchielli (Cremona’s province), 1834 - Milan, 1886). The lessons he received from Ponchielli would be decisive in his career as opera composer. Furthermore he met in Milan other important personalities and interpreters, who supported him in his first steps towards the opera.
In 1883, Puccini met Elvira - the wife of a well-off friend of his childhood in Lucca - who was a woman of exceptional beauty and progressive ideas for the age. They went together to reside in Monza (Lombardy) - into a very difficult economic situation and being the target for criticisms and tales from the society of the epoch - taking with them the little daughter of Elvira. In 1886, was born Antonio, the only son they had. In 1904, died Elvira’s husband and because of they could get married.
Since Puccini felt in love with Elvira until he married her, he composed:
- “Capriccio Sinfonico” (1884) - “Le Villi”, with libretto by Ferdinando Fontana, performed for the first time on the 31st May 1884, at the “Teatro Dal Verme” (Milan).- “Edgar”, with libretto by Ferdinando Fontana, performed for the first time on the 21st April 1889, at the “Teatro alla Scala” (Milan).- “Crisantemi”, string quartet (1890)
- - “Manon Lescaut”, with libretto by Luigi Illica, Marco Praga and Domenico Oliva, performed for the first time on the 1st February 1893, at the “Teatro Regio” (Parma).
- - “La Bohéme”, with libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, performed for the first time on the 1st February 1896, at the “Teatro Regio” (Parma).
- - “Tosca”, with libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, performed for the first time on the 14th January 1900, at the “Teatro Costanzi” (Rome).
- - “Madama Butterfly”, with libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, performed for the first time on the 17th February 1904, at the “Teatro alla Scala” (Milan).
Other Pages about Lucca
Hystory and Origins
Must-See Monuments and Art in Lucca
- Il Duomo di San Martino - Palazzo dei Guinigi - Chiesa di San Michele in Foro - The native house of Giacomo Puccini
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