Puccini, Giacomo (opera) (Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria )
- Julian Budden
(Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria )
(b Lucca, Dec 22, 1858; d Brussels, Nov 29, 1924). Italian composer . He was the most successful composer of Italian opera after Verdi.
Born into a family that had supplied his native city with cathedral organists and composers for four generations, Puccini was taught the rudiments of music by his maternal uncle, Fortunato Magi, his father having died when he was five years old. He sang as a treble in the choir of the Cathedral of S Martino and the church of S Michele; at 14 he was able to deputize for organists in the neighbourhood. At the Istituto Musicale Pacini, which he entered in 1874, he studied under Carlo Angeloni, Magi’s successor as director, a respectable composer mainly of motets and masses. Lucca’s cultural life was remarkably rich for a provincial town. Operatic fare was supplied at its three theatres at different times of the year. No less important for Puccini’s future was a strong tradition of spoken drama, with regular visits by Italy’s most distinguished touring companies, offering a repertory that reached from Vittorio Alfieri and Carlo Goldoni to the latest Parisian products of the Dumas ...