This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Giacomo Puccini: A Musical Genius Essay

2004 words - 9 pages

As mentioned before, La bohéme is ‘a four-act opera by Giacomo Puccini with a libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica based upon Henry Murger’s novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème (Julian Budden). Puccini wanted to begin composing this opera during the winter of 1892 but due to an argument with another composer, Ruggero Leoncavallo over the rights to the story, production of the libretto was slow (Budden). After almost two years of perfecting the libretto and a few disagreements between Giacosa, Illica, and Puccini, Giacomo began to compose the opera in the summer of 1894 (Budden). On December 10, 1895, the score was finished and La bohéme premiered on February 1, 1896 with Toscanini conducting at the Teatro Regio in Turin – the same theater Manon Lescaut premiered in three years prior (Budden). The original cast consisted of Cesira Ferrani as Mimì, Camilla Pasini as Musetta, Evan Gorga as Rodolfo, Michele Mazzini as Colline, and Antonio Pini-Corsi as Schaunard (Budden). The opera may not have been an instant hit with critics but according to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, “nothing could stop its rapid circulation” (Budden).
La bohéme tells the story of star-crossed lovers, Rodolfo and Mimì, who witness the triumphs and tribulations of true love. Set in the Latin Quartet of Paris in 1830, the story begins on Christmas Eve with Rodolfo, a poet, and Marcello, a painter, shivering in the cold and trying to find something to burn in order to keep warm (Julian Budden). Rodolfo decides to use his five-act play that he has painstakingly written to keep the flames ablaze instead of burning furniture or something that might be of use later on (Budden). Colline enters to a “brisk orchestral theme” and the fire is burning rampantly (Budden). Following Colline’s entrance, Schaunard enters with an abundance of supplies and firewood, explaining that he obtained the wealth from a ‘rich milord’ who paid him to kill off a neighbor’s noisy parrot (Budden). As the men are celebrating, the property owner, Benoit, knocks on the door and demands that they pay their rent (Budden). The men think quickly, question Beniot about his wife, and torment him about his infidelity to her before throwing him out (Budden). Colline, Schaunard, and Marcello leave to celebrate at Café Momus while Rodolfo stays behind to finish his writing (Budden). As fate would have it, there is a knock on the door and it is Puccini’s demure and delicate heroine, Mimì (Budden). She says that her candle has been blown out and asks for a light (Budden). She is coughing and clearly sick, but she blames her frailty on the stairs (Budden). Rodolfo gives her a glass of wine to renew her strength and he notices that her hand is very cold which prompts him to sing the aria, ‘Che gelida manina’ (Budden). She replies with the story of her simple life in the aria, ‘Mi chiamano Mimì’ (Budden). Puccini takes each of these arias to create specific motifs that are used to identify each...

Find Another Essay On Giacomo Puccini: A Musical Genius

Opera Essay

3056 words - 12 pages to do. Between arias, the soloists may sing back and fourth to each other in a kind of musical discussion called recitatives. Besides singing arias, soloists often join together to sing duets, trios, quartets, quintets, or sextets at various points in the opera. The chorus usually has several songs to sing, either alone or with the soloists. The music follows the action and mood of the plot. Operas are usually performed in special buildings

David Belasco Essay

573 words - 2 pages . Belasco worked fast, and though he scrambled together a laughably bad script, he had an unerring instinct for strong theatrical effects. Giacomo Puccini, who worked on developing the opera Madame Butterfly, and having the advantage of not understanding a word of English, was swept away by the. emotionalism of the production. David Belasco was an undisputed master of stage sensationalism, and his many clumsy scripts were reasons for uncanny

Illusion in Madame Butterfly

579 words - 2 pages Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini as a framework to mold the main character, Rene Gallimard. Gallimard longs to be like the hero in Madame Butterfly, Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, who dominates and possesses a beautiful Asian woman. Within the drama Gallimard concedes that he is not very attractive and that he hasn't always been popular amongst the ladies. Gallimard states "We, who are not handsome, nor brave, nor powerful, yet somehow believe like

Kabuki, the Japanese Art vs. Puccini´s Madame Butterfly

2874 words - 11 pages the western world. Consequently, Puccini strove to provide authenticity to his listeners. " With characteristic thoroughness Puccini went to a great deal of trouble to assimilate the musical background of Japan, a study in which we was greatly helped by the wife of the Japanese Ambassador to Rome." (Hughes, 114) Puccini's themes can be subdivided into three categories: those which are authentic, and based off of traditional folk songs, or those

Impacts of Tuberculosis and AIDS on Society

822 words - 4 pages treatment or were more susceptible because of risk behaviors. They have been portrayed in media and the arts in several different ways. In 1896, La Bohème, an opera written by Giacomo Puccini, presented tuberculosis as social commentary and featured characters living with poverty and disease (Morens). In the opera, the main character, Mimì, dies in one of the most enduring scenes. The link between TB and poor living conditions was apparent. There was no

Richard Wagner's Anti-Semitism (Wagner:1813-1883)

1141 words - 5 pages not have such hard feelings for him until after his death. He also had these hatred feelings toward composer Giacomo (Jacob) Meyerbeer (1791-1864). These feelings were more unfounded than the feelings for Mendelssohn. Again, he was not always so disenchanted with Meyerbeer. He too helped Wagner in more ways than one. Some of his attempts to bring Wagner more publicity failed, which at the time Wagner did not attribute to the fact that he was a Jew

Should People Learn the Basic History and Fundamentals of Music?

964 words - 4 pages Music is all around us, it is a part of our culture and for some it is a way of life! We all know how music is and how it should sound, but most people don’t realize that if it weren’t for previous musical eras, music wouldn’t sound like how it does today. Music classes after 6th grade aren’t mandatory and if people aren’t going into that field they don’t take music classes, so they don’t have the information anymore. It could only benefit a

Andrew Blue: Learning Disabled or Genius?

1279 words - 6 pages of language abilities and reading capabilities, it could also be argued that Andrew (as his sister Yolanda states) is a musical genius. Which end of the spectrum is Andrew? Is he learning disabled, normal for his age or actually a genius? From the evidence in Yolanda’s Genius and the readings from the textbook, Child Development I have come to the premises that Andrew is in fact a genius with music but at the same time learning disabled due to his

Bel Canto Opera

2469 words - 10 pages really put Italy in the eye of the public for their amazing operas and musical styles. “Bel canto,” which translated literally means “beautiful singing,” was a very important factor taken into consideration in the romantic era. According to Charles Osborne, bel canto singing can be defined as “a method of singing taught by the Italian masters […] in which smooth emission of tone, beauty of timbre and elegance of phrasing are among the most

American Music Theatre from Kern to Sondheim

1909 words - 8 pages The American musical is a relatively new form which developed over the years leading up to the 20th century. In the romantic period, 'heavy' operas by composers such as Verdi and Puccini lead to a reaction in Europe where composers such as Offenbach began to write lighter comedy operas. In England during the late 19th century, Gilbert and Sullivan developed the form in their D'Oyly Carte opera productions. Speech was introduced, and the

A Brilliant Madness about John Forbes Nash

1700 words - 7 pages bipolar mood disorder, displayed his psychopathic condition when he amputated his own ear to give as a gift to a prostitute. At the pinnacle of his artistic career, Van Gogh committed suicide (“Genius or Madness?”; Simonton; Neihart; Robinson). Musical composer Robert Schumman, who had bipolar disorder as well, also exhibited self-destructive behavior and died in an insane asylum after a failed suicide attempt (Robinson; Weisberg 362). The well

Similar Essays

A Musical Genius Essay

713 words - 3 pages Luke 6:45 states, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” This is very true of Ludwig van Beethoven because what he believed affected his music. Beethoven was an extremely famous composer who helped transition the Classical era into the Romantic era. Composing from age 12 until his death in 1827, his music reflected his character. Although he is often considered a musical genius, which he is, his lack of God, and his lack

Dmitri Shostakovich: A Musical Creative Genius

3748 words - 15 pages Dmitri Shostakovich: Creative Musical Genius "In Shostakovich we have the paradigm of a new, essentially political form of complex inward adjustments, one which requires a new kind of symphony." (Norris 177) Although a lifelong communist and an intense Russian patriot (he applied for and was granted membership into the Communist party in 1960), Dmitri Shostakovich composed under constant fear of public condemnation, often for what he

Giacomo Puccini Essay

2328 words - 10 pages . Giacomo Puccini (also known as Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria) was born in Lucca on December 22, 1858 to a family with longstanding musical traditions in his hometown (Julian Budden). Considered one of the most successful Italian operatic composers, Puccini began learning music from his uncle Fortunato Magi at the age of five following his father’s death (Budden). His love for music continued well into his teenage years and in 1874, at the

Concert Review On A College´S Opera Performance

993 words - 4 pages Eastern Washington University Department of Music presented a program of Opera works by Giacomo Puccini, Aron Copland, W.A. Mozart, John Dowland, Franz Shubert, Maurice Ravel, and Robert Schumann on Friday, March 7, 6:30 p.m., in the Music Building, Recital Hall. These Opera works were sung by Senior Recitalist, Alexandra Rannow. The concert started off with Mi chiamano Mimi by Giacomo Puccini that was sung extraordinarily well by Alexandra