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Trivia / Giacomo Puccini

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  • Author Existence Failure: Turandot had to be finished by his student Franco Alfano. Arturo Toscanini rather famously conducted the premiere of Turandot and, upon reaching the point where Puccini died, set down his baton, gave a few solemn words, and walked off-stage.
  • Ironically, Puccini indirectly caused the death of an innocent child, and wrote the character of Liu in Turandot in her memory. He had many affairs, and his wife had become insanely jealous as a result, so that when he actually kept his hands off 16-year-old Doria Manfredi, newly hired as housekeeper, Elvira didn't believe it. She stalked the girl, denounced her as a whore, and mercilessly harassed her to "confess". Doria swallowed three tablets of mercury chloride. It took her three days to die. Eventually, the truth came out: Puccini was having an affair — with Doria's older cousin! The relationship was serious and continued to the end of Puccini's life; he acknowledged and supported her baby as his.

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