On This Day

Giacomo Puccini

Opera Composer Giacomo Puccini

Profession: Opera Composer


Biography: Born into a family of musicians - four generations of maestri di cappella at the Cathedral of Lucca - Giacomo Puccini had music in his blood. He wrote his first opera at 25. His first big success "Manon Lescaut" premiered in Turin in 1893, just a week before Giuseppe Verdi's final opera, "Falstaff", was first performed.

Puccini became the heir to Verdi as the most in-demand Italian opera composer. "La bohème" (1896); "Tosca" (1900); and "Madama Butterfly" (1904) have become standard repertoire to this day.

Puccini's final work "Turandot" was incomplete at the time of his death in 1924. It was finished by Franco Alfano, and published in 1926. It contains the often heard aria "Nessun dorma" ("Let no one sleep").

Born: December 22, 1858
Birthplace: Lucca, Italy
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: November 29, 1924 (aged 65)
Cause of Death: Throat cancer

Historical Events

  • 1893-02-01 Giacomo Puccini's Opera "Manon Lescaut" premieres in Turin
  • 1896-02-01 Giacomo Puccini's Opera "La Boheme" premieres in Turin
  • 1900-01-14 Giacomo Puccini's opera "Tosca" premieres in Rome
  • 1904-02-17 Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly" premieres at La Scala in Milan, Italy
  • 1918-12-14 Giacomo Puccini's opera "Il Trittico" premieres in NYC
  • 1926-04-25 Giacomo Puccini's opera "Turandot" premieres in Milan
  • 1965-07-05 Greek-American soprano Maria Callas makes her final opera stage appearance in the title role of Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca" at Convent Garden, London, England

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