Giacomo Puccini (22 December 1858 — 29 November 1924) was an Italian composer, sometimes referred to as "the last greatest opera composer". This is probably justified, as his operas are among the most frequently performed, and every opera company has them in their repertoire. Some arias from his operas are well known even to a non-operatic audience, like O mio babbino caro and Nessun dorma.
Puccini's works are:
- Le Villi
- Manon Lescaut
- La Bohème
- Tosca, source of E lucevan le stelle
- Madame Butterfly
- La Fanciulla del West (The Girl from the Golden West)
- La Rondine (The Swallow)
- Il Trittico:
- Turandot (you've heard Nessun dorma)
Tropes present in Puccini's works:
- Badass Baritone: Not so evident as in Verdi's works but Puccini's operas have their share of badass low-voiced guys: Jack Rance (La Fanciulla del West), Michele (Il Tabarro), Scarpia.
- Break the Cutie: Puccini loved doing this. He even referred to the librettists of Turandot as "my puppet executioners".
- Downer Ending: Puccini was the king of this trope. Only Gianni Schicchi and, arguably, La Fanciulla del West and Turandot don't have a Downer Ending.
- Driven to Suicide: A frequent fate for his characters.
- Melodrama: Very much so but at the same time deconstructed: Puccini's heroines are not Shallow Love Interests but well-rounded and strong characters, his villains are universally more interesting than the tenor protagonists, and his stories are miles above a standard opera plot.