Welcome to another Famous Composer music lesson. Today we have a 15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie on Giacomo Puccini. It’s an excerpt from the online course 20th Century Music Appreciation Course for High School. Find the full lesson, plus 35 others, there!
Be sure to download the accompanying free printable pack at the end of this lesson!
15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie on Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), an Italian composer, is one of the greatest to ever write opera. Puccini was born into a musical family. Although he did write other musical genres (such as the symphony Capriccio Sinfonico), he is considered to be the final great composer in the Italian operatic tradition.
Opera composers often don’t write the story, nor the poetry/words of the songs (known as the “libretto”), but they instead write the music for the singing of the story and libretto.
Some of Puccini’s most famous operas are La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madame Butterfly (1904), Gianni Schicchi (1918), and Turandot (1924).
Listen to “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Gianni Schicchi which is a one-act opera. The glorious song is often used in films, such as the beautiful English film, A Room with a View. Gianni Schicchi is a funny story about some greedy relatives who want to get their hands on the money and estate left by their deceased relative. They find that in his will he has left it all to a monastery, so they come up with a scheme to change the will.
“Nessun Dorma” is a beautiful aria from Turandot. An “aria” is what a song from an opera is called.
Here is “Nessun Dorma” with a “pop” twist.
La Bohème is Puccini’s most famous opera. The story is about a group of friends–bohemians– who live in Paris. There are romances and break-ups. At the end, the two main characters are reunited just before Mimi succumbs to consumption (tuberculosis). It is a moving story which has been beloved by every generation since its premiere in 1896. Listen to two beautiful arias from La Bohème.
Musetta’s Waltz (or “Quando me’n vo”)
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