THE HOUSE - MUSEUMS OF GIACOMO PUCCINI III
In 1891, Giacomo Puccini had hired a small villa close to the Massaciuoccoli Lake (located in a wonderful natural territory in Lucca’s province not far from the Tyrrhenian coast) and he moved there with Elvira and the children to compose “Manon Lescaut” in a most peaceful atmosphere hoping, at the same time, that his third opera would be more successful than the two earliest and would allow him to escape from poverty.
Fortunately, “Manon Lescaut” obtained an immense success, so he commissioned the construction of a house in Torre del Lago (Lucca’s province). The beautiful house was terminated at the beginning of the 20th century. The composer was completely happy with his new home and its marvellous position in the nature.
Because of that, after Puccini’s death, his son Antonio did all that he could to move his father’s mortal remains from Milan, where he had been interred. In 1926, Giacomo Puccini was finally buried in the private chapel of the villa, now a splendid museum entirely dedicated to the brilliant Tuscan composer.
When Puccini constructed his house, Torre del Lago, situated in the coast of Lucca, between the Massaciuoccoli Lake and the Tyrrhenian Sea, and between the Apuan Alps and the Natural Park of Migliarino - San Rossore, was just a beautiful village of around 100 inhabitants. Currently, it is a celebrated holiday location in Tuscany, which streets, monuments, and its famous annual Puccini Festival, from the mid of July to the mid of August, are mainly devoted to the composer’s memory.
In 1900, when Puccini reached again a great success with the premiere of “Tosca”, he was nominated honorary citizen of Viareggio, a well-known holiday town situated in the nearness of Torre del Lago. In Viareggio still remains the delicious “fin de siecle” atmosphere which Puccini knew. In addition, visitors can enjoy of the same hotels and coffee shops he used to go, like the “Park Hotel Regina”, the “Hotel Royal” and the old and stylish “Caffè Margherita”.
In 1919, Puccini started to build a villa in Viareggio. He already was considered the most famous Italian composer of the age, especially for the great success obtained with the premiere of “Madama Butterfly” and the one of “La Fanciulla del West” (libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, performed for the first time on the 10th December 1910, at the “Metropolitan Opera House”, New York).
In 1921, the composer and his family moved to the new villa. At present, the refined and superb “Villa Puccini” still preserves the “art-deco” splendour of its early years. The ambience and the decoration of the villa are visibly bringing along many reminisces from the last operas he composed:
- “La Rondine”, with libretto by Giuseppe Adami, performed for the first time on the 27th March 1917, at the “Opera Theatre” of Monte Carlo.
- “Il Trittico”, which includes: “Il Tabarro”, with libretto by Giuseppe Adami, “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi”, both of them with libretto by Giovacchino Forzano.
“Il Trittico” was performed for the first time on the 14th December 1918, at the “Metropolitan Opera House” (New York).
- “Turandot”, with libretto by Renato Simoni and Giuseppe Adami, completed in 1925 by the composer Franco Alfano, and performed for the first time on the 25th April 1926, at the “Teatro alla Scala” (Milan).
On 7th December 1924, a plaque was fixed in his villa in Viareggio, which says:
“The community of Viareggio promises to keep sacred to Giacomo Puccini the house and the wood that were the palace and garden of the gorgeous Turandot”
Because of his throat cancer, Giacomo Puccini was admitted on the 4th November 1924 in a private clinic in Brussels. The composer was operated on the 24th November and died five days later, on the 29th November 1924.
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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