Puccini is the largest, after Verdi, Italian composer, who developed realistic principles of national opera art. In terms of its ideological and artistic attitudes, Puccini adjoined the movement in Italian literature and theater of the late nineteenth century, which received the name of verism. In modern subjects and everyday life of ordinary people (sometimes in the exotic setting of the East or the distant West), he was looking for material for the embodiment of worldly dramas based on a keen love affair. In his operas, marked by deep humanity and the power of feelings, Puccini appears as a master of vocal writing, a generous melodist, an excellent connoisseur of the scene. His works are marked by intense drama, rapid development of the action.
Giacomo Puccini was born December 23, 1858 in the city of Lucca (northern Italy) in a family of hereditary musicians, among whom were performers, teachers and composers. Puccini received his musical education at the Milan Conservatory, which he graduated in 1883. One of his teachers was composer A. Ponkilli – author of the famous opera “La Gioconda” at the time.
The first operas of Puccini – “The Willis” (1884) and “Edgar” (1889) were well received by the public and critics, but real fame in Italy and abroad came to him after the production of the operas Manon Lescaut (1893) and especially “La Boheme” (1896). Then came “Tosca” (1900), “Cio-Cio-san” (“Madame Butterfly”, 1904) and “Girl from the West” (1910), also having great success. In these works, the features of Puccini’s individual style were most fully revealed. The creative failure of the composer was the comic opera The Swallow (1917). New ways he tried to outline in three one-act operas (1919): “Cloak”, “Sister Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi”.
Puccini died on November 29, 1924 in Brussels, not having finished his last opera “Turandot”.