Artist Details

Giacomo Puccini

The last of the great line of Italian repertoire opera composers was fully named Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (II), of a line of composers who had long been active in Lucca, Italy. When his father, organist and choirmaster of the San Martino church there, died, Giacomo was only five years old, yet the city father voted his uncle Fortunato Magi should hold the post until Giacomo was old enough to take it over, in order to maintain the line of Puccini musicians presiding there which went back to Giacomo Puccini (I) having received that appointment in 1739. Young Puccini began his career as organist there when he was 14. He was solidly trained as a composer and inventive as an improviser, occasionally surprising the congregation by incorporating local folk tunes or tunes from Verdi operas into his playing. By the time he was 18, he had been inspired by a performance of Aida in deciding to aim for an operatic career.

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