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Awesome Music / Giacomo Puccini

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The works of Giacomo Puccini include many of the most awesome operas ever written.

  • La Bohème. All. Of. It. But ESPECIALLY "O soave fanciulla" and "Quando m'en vo" (a.k.a. Musetta's Waltz). If you hear opera in a movie or TV show and it's not "Flight of the Valkyries", there's a good chance it's this.
  • Tosca has more than earned its place as one of Puccini's most popular operas, and perhaps the highlights are the heartbroken arias "Vissi d'arte" (especially when performed by Greek-American soprano Maria Callas), sung by the title character as she laments having seemingly been abandoned by God in the face of the Trope Namer for Scarpia Ultimatum,note  and "E lucevan le stelle", sung by Cavaradossi as he reflects on his life while facing execution at dawn.
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  • Madama Butterfly completes the triptych of some of the most frequently performed operas not just by Puccini himself, but by any composer. It is certainly not the most racially sensitive opera, but it still contains some truly outstanding music, especially the extended love duet between Butterfly and Pinkerton at the end of Act I, and the celebrated aria "Un bel di vedremo" from Act II, sung as Butterfly waxes romantic about Pinkerton's impending return, not knowing the unpleasant surprises that await her when he does. The orchestra's final cadence as Pinkerton finds Butterfly dead was harmonically unusual for the time, but certainly makes for a memorable conclusion.
  • Turandot was the opera Puccini was composing at his death, and it ranks among his best:
    • "Nessun Dorma" is possibly Puccini's most well-known composition, with Luciano Pavarotti making it one of his signature arias and Franco Corelli also having some thrilling moments with it. The last minute or so is the bit everyone knows:
      Dilegua, o notte! Tramontate, stelle! (Vanish, o night! Set, stars!)
      Tramontate, stelle! All'alba vincero! (Set, stars! At dawn, I will win!)
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    • Turandot also includes one of the most awesome and triumphant endings of all time. Consider the original version, particularly the last minutes — they are truly incomparable.


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