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Discovering Giacomo Puccini

Lucca, December 22, 1858. From that day on, the musical work would never be the same again. In fact, the famous composer Giacomo Puccini was born, still considered one of the greatest opera players in world musical history, forever linked to the city of Lucca and the surrounding area, thanks also to the contribution of the Puccini Museum.

Puccini's childhood and youth

Raised with six sisters and a brother, he received his first musical teachings from his father Michele, before enrolling in the violin class of the "G.Pacini" Music Institute, a very renowned school even outside Lucca.

It was precisely on the occasion of the graduation that his first composition was born: La Messa a 4 voci, dated 1880. After completing his studies, he moved to Milan to attend the conservatory, where he remained until 1833. Determined to be a composer only - not the teacher, nor the interpreter - once the formative experience was over, he composed his first opera, Le Villi.

Thanks to a representation of Le Villi organized by some friends, Puccini was noticed by Giulio Ricordi, the most important Italian music publisher of the time. The latter not only included the work in the catalog of his publishing house, but also commissioned a work from Puccini.

From this commission Edgar was born. The first performance, in 1889, was a total success, so much so that it contributed significantly to the composer's career.


Worldwide success


Puccini fell in love with a married woman, Elvira Bonturi, who left her husband for him. Due to the initial economic difficulties, the two were unable to meet often, until Puccini composed the third opera, Manon Lescaut (1893), which allowed them to embark on a rich and luxurious life.

In 1896, the year in which he wrote La bohème, the success derived from the performances was even greater. Puccini then bought two houses, one in Torre del Lago and the other in Chiatri - places very close to Lucca - further fortifying the relationship with his hometown. In Torre del Lago Puccini will spend the years of the First World War.

Tosca (1900) and Madama Butterfly (1904), awarded him the recognition of the richest and most famous living composer. In 1919 he decided to sell the Torre del Lago residence to build a villa in Viareggio, in which he went to live towards the end of 1921. It was in this house that Puccini worked on his latest work, Turandot. Although it remained unfinished, it was staged for the first time in 1926 and has been one of Giacomo Puccini's most performed operas ever since.

Lucca has decided to celebrate the life and works of the great composer through the Puccini Museum. The museum, whose heart is Puccini's birthplace, is a deep and complete journey into the artist's life to discover all the brilliant and distinctive traits that have consecrated him as one of the greatest opera artists ever on a world scale.

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