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Music / Giacomo Puccini

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Giacomo Puccini (22 December 1858 — 29 November 1924) was an Italian composer.

He is 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 especially Nessun dorma.

Puccini's works are:

Tropes present in Puccini's works:

  • Baritone of Strength: 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, La Fanciulla del West and, arguably, Turandot don't have one.
  • Driven to Suicide: A frequent fate for his characters.
  • Melodrama: Very much so but at the same time deconstructed: Puccini's heroines are not Satellite 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.
  • Song of Prayer: In his opera Sister Angelica, dying Angelica hears a choir of angels singing a hymn of praise to the Virgin Mary, Who comes to tell Angelica she is forgiven.