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 Bohčme, 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 Bohčme (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
Renata Tebaldi - The Classic Puccini Recordings
Release Date: 03/11/2003   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 473045   Number of Discs: 12
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Puccini: La Boheme - A Film By Robert Dornhelm / Netrebko, Villazon [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 12/15/2009   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4601   Number of Discs: 1
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Puccini: La Bohčme / Karajan, Freni, Pavarotti, Et Al
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 421049   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Tosca / Mehta, Domingo, Malfitano, Raimondi
Release Date: 06/25/2013   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4602   Number of Discs: 1
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Puccini: Turandot / Mehta, Sutherland, Pavarotti, Caballé
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 414274   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai

Browse 151-173 of 173 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    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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  • 152.
    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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  • 153.
    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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  • 154.
    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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  • 155.
    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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  • 156.
    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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  • 157.
    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 Cilča,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Galliano Masini,  Carlo Tagliabue
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  • 158.
    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 Cilča,  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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  • 159.
    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
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  • 160.
    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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  • 161.
    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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  • 162.
    Famous Tenor Arias / Harper, Czecho-slovak Rso, Halász
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550497 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Harper
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 163.
    Italian & French Opera Arias / Peter Dvorsky, Lenard
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550343 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduardo Di Capua,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Agustín Lara,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Dvorsky
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 164.
    Ti Amo - Puccini's Greatest Love Songs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425099 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Tom Krause,  Montserrat Caballé,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Herbert von Karajan,  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 165.
    Mad About Puccini
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439151 Release Date: 07/13/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Mirella Freni,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Juan Pons  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Herbert von Karajan,  Leonard Bernstein,  Roberto Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 166.
    The Best Of Puccini
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551120 Release Date: 06/28/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Miriam Gauci,  Thomas Harper,  Jonathan Welch,  Luba Orgonasova  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Michael Halász,  Will Humburg,  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 167.
    Prima Voce - Beniamino Gigli Vol 2 1925-1940
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7817 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giulio Caccini,  Francesco Cilča,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe de Luca,  Beniamino Gigli
    CD: $11.99
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  • 168.
    Prima Voce - Caruso
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7803 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Halévy,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Antonio Carlos Gomes,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    CD: $11.99
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  • 169.
    Luciano Pavarotti In Hyde Park
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436320 Release Date: 04/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Cesare Andrea Bixio  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
    Conductor:  Leone Magiera
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
    CD: $12.99
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  • 170.
    Essential Opera - Bizet, Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433822 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Placido Domingo,  Piero de Palma,  Montserrat Caballé  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Sir Georg Solti,  Zubin Mehta,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 171.
    Jussi Björling - Opera Arias / Leinsdorf, Rome Opera
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 5934 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Renata Tebaldi,  Giorgio Tozzi,  Fernando Corena
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Jonel Perlea,  Nils Grevillius,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra
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  • 172.
    Tutto Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425681 Release Date: 04/28/1989   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Julia Varády,  Ida Bormida,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  István Kertész,  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan,  Oliviero de Fabritiis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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