Giacomo Puccini

Biography

Born: 1858   Died: 1924   Country: Italy  
Giacomo Puccini was the most important composer of Italian opera after Verdi. He wrote in the verismo style, a counterpart to the movement of Realism in literature and a trend that favored subjects and characters from everyday life for opera. On his often commonplace settings Puccini lavished memorable melodies and lush orchestration. It was around the turn of the twentieth century that he reached his artistic zenith, composing in succession his Read more three most popular and effective operas, La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly.

Young Giacomo took organ lessons early on from his uncle, Fortunato Magi, and later from Carlo Angeloni. At ten, he sang in local church choirs and by age 14 was freelancing as an organist at religious services. His first compositions were for organ, often incorporating operatic and folk elements. By age 18, under the spell of Verdi's Aida, he decided he would study composition with a view to writing opera. At around this time, he composed his first large-scale work, a cantata, Preludio Sinfonico, for an 1877 competition. Other pieces came in the next few years, but none of significance.

In 1880, Puccini entered the Milan Conservatory, where he studied for three years under Ponchielli and Bazzini. While there, he wrote his first opera, Le villi, which he once more entered in a competition. Though he lost, Arrigo Boito and, more importantly, publisher Giulio Ricordi helped arrange a premiere in Milan on May 31, 1884. The work was enthusiastically received, and Puccini was on his way.

Around this time the composer met Elvira Gemignani, wife of a merchant in Lucca. They carried on an illicit affair, and she gave birth to his son in 1886. When her husband died in 1904, the two were married. Puccini's next opera, Edgar, was poorly received at its 1889 premiere. Subsequent revisions failed to rescue it from its encumbering libretto. His next effort, however, Manon Lescaut, was a sensational success at its 1893 Turin premiere. Subsequent performances in Italy and abroad bolstered the composer's growing reputation.

Puccini's next three operas confirmed his preeminence in Italian opera. La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), and Madama Butterfly (1904) were not immediately as successful as Manon Lescaut, but in time achieved greater acclaim. By the middle of the twentieth century, they had become -- and remain today -- his most often performed and recorded works.

Puccini suffered a creative dry spell for a time and was unable to finish another opera until the moderately successful La fanciulla del West (1910), which premiered in New York with Toscanini conducting and Caruso singing the role of Johnson. His sluggishness of inspiration owed much to charges by his wife he was having an affair with a servant girl, charges that drove the hapless, and as it turned out, innocent young girl to suicide in 1909.

In 1913, Puccini accepted a lucrative commission from Vienna interests, which resulted in La rondine. Received warmly at its 1917 Monte Carlo premiere, it faded under the judgment it was the least of his operatic efforts. Puccini followed this disappointment with his trilogy of one-act operas, Il trittico -- comprised of Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi -- all premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1918. Only the latter work, a comedy, was well received.

While Puccini was working on his last opera, Turandot, he was diagnosed with throat cancer (1923). During radiation treatment in Brussels, he suffered a heart attack and died on November 29, 1924. Read less

Opera In English - Puccini: Tosca / Parry, Eaglen, Et Al
Release Date: 05/21/1996   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3000   Number of Discs: 2
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Opera In English - Puccini: Tosca -highlights /Eaglen, Et Al
Release Date: 05/22/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3066   Number of Discs: 1
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Opera In English - Puccini: La Bohème / Parry, Haymon, Et Al
Release Date: 07/21/1998   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3008   Number of Discs: 2
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Opera In English - Puccini: Turandot / Parry, Eaglen, Et Al
Release Date: 11/26/2002   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3086   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Turandot / Borkh, Tebaldi, Erede
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Urania  
Catalog: 121202   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai

Browse 151-175 of 189 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    The Best Of Puccini
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556670 Release Date: 10/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Thomas Harper,  Miriam Gauci,  Luba Orgonasova,  Yordi Ramiro  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Alexander Rahbari,  Ondrej Lenárd,  Will Humburg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus
    CD: $9.99
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  • 152.
    Heroes - Franco Corelli - Bellini, Giordano, Mascagni, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66533 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Pietro Mascagni,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Giuseppe Modesti,  Antonietta Stella,  Paolo Pedani  ... 
    Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic,  Gabriele Santini,  Alain Lombard,  Franco Ferraris  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 153.
    The Only Opera Cd You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68823 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Helen Donath,  Roberta Peters,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Lorin Maazel,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $3.99
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  • 154.
    Pavarotti's Greatest Hits - The Ultimate Collection
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 458000 Release Date: 09/30/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Agustín Lara,  Ernesto Tagliaferri,  Domenico Modugno  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  David Romano,  Frank Sinatra,  Andrea Bocelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Maurizio Benini,  Giancarlo Chiaramello,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 155.
    Best Of Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 458808 Release Date: 09/17/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Andrea Bocelli,  David Romano,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Riccardo Chailly,  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
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  • 156.
    The Art Of Galliano Masini
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89154 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilèa,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Galliano Masini,  Maria Vinciguerra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 157.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4581182 Release Date: 08/11/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Placido Domingo,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan,  Alberto Erede  ... 
    On sale! $60.99
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    $58.99
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  • 158.
    Symphonic Opera / Tabakov, Sofia Philharmonic
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 10770 Release Date: 04/08/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini
    Conductor:  Emil Tabakov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 159.
    Famous Tenors Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89229 Release Date: 01/21/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge,  Leo Slezak,  Jussi Björling,  Ferruccio Tagliavini  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 160.
    Puccini And Pasta
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454723 Release Date: 08/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Montserrat Caballé,  Sylvia McNair,  Pilar Lorengar  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  John Mauceri,  Giuseppe Patané,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 161.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Aureliano Pertile Vol 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89116 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Richard Wagner,  Arrigo Boito,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Aureliano Pertile,  Gina Cigna
    Conductor:  Lorenzo Molajoli,  Alberto Erede
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 162.
    Royal Opera House - The Puccini Experience / Downes
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 55013 Release Date: 11/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Johan Botha,  Francis Egerton,  Robin Leggate,  Anthony Michaels-Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 163.
    Giovanni Martinelli - The Acoustic Recordings 1913-1923
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89213 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  José Mardones,  Giuseppe de Luca,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Marcel Journet  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 164.
    Domingo Favorites
    Label: Dg Masters   Catalog: 445525 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Renato Bruson,  Mirella Freni,  Angelo Veccia
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $11.99
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  • 165.
    Ben Heppner - Great Tenor Arias / Roberto Abbado, Munich
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 62504 Release Date: 08/15/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Ben Heppner,  Jürgen Musser
    Conductor:  Roberto Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 166.
    The Best Of Opera Vol 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553167 Release Date: 06/27/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 167.
    Three Great Tenors / Domingo, Pavarotti, Carreras
    Label: Emi-capitol Special Markets   Catalog: 18244 Release Date: 06/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arrigo Boito,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Edouard Lalo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Luciano Pavarotti,  José Carreras
    On sale! $5.98
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  • 168.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Alessandro Bonci
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1062 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandro Bonci,  Ferruccio Corradetti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Maria Pia Pagliarini  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 169.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Alfred Piccaver
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89060 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Piccaver
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 170.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Aureliano Pertile
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89007 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Aureliano Pertile,  Benvenuto Franci,  Aurora Buades,  Anna Rozsa  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno,  Lorenzo Molajoli,  Gino Nastrucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 171.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Galliano Masini
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1067 Release Date: 12/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilèa,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Galliano Masini,  Carlo Tagliabue
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  • 172.
    Opera At La Scala / Zenatello, Cobelli, Merli, Scacciati
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1102 Release Date: 10/24/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Francesco Cilèa,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Giacomo Lauri-Volpi,  Giuseppina Cobelli,  Luigi Rossi-Morelli,  Rhigetti,  ... 
    Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 173.
    Mario Del Monaco - Opera Arias
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1039 Release Date: 09/13/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Del Monaco
    Conductor:  Argeo Quadri,  Tomaso Benintende-Neglia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $25.98
    CD: $21.99
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  • 174.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Love Songs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443599 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  William Matteuzzi,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Leone Magiera,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Bologna Teatro Comunale Chorus,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 175.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Puccini
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443819 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Renata Tebaldi,  Pilar Lorengar,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Giuseppe Patané  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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