Hardback
October 3, 2002
9781555535308
English
384
16 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.65 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Puccini

A Biography

Descended from four generations of distinguished composers and organists, Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) was driven by family tradition and an ambitious mother to pursue a career that brought him worldwide recognition as the greatest composer of Italian opera after Giuseppe Verdi. But behind the brilliant creator of such lasting works as La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, La Rondine, and Turandot, there was a person racked with indecision, self-doubt, bouts of depression, and private misfortunes.In this beautifully written work, Mary Jane Phillips-Matz brings to life both the man and his circle. Setting Puccini's intriguing story within the worlds of his beloved Tuscany and the cutthroat opera business, the author follows the composer from boyhood in his ancestral Lucca, to his struggling student years at the Milan Conservatory, to his early successes and failures, to the artistic triumphs that earned him international celebrity and considerable wealth.Filled with colorful details and anecdotes drawn from extensive primary sources as well as interviews with descendents, family friends, and colleagues, the book chronicles Puccini's personal sorrows and scandals, and recounts his stormy professional rivalries and associations in England, Europe, and the United States. Phillips-Matz also skillfully untangles the threads of the gifted artist's complex and contradictory character. She reveals a sophisticated composer who often drew upon exotic thematic material and an elegant cosmopolite who loved his several villas, expensive cars, boats, and fine clothes. Yet Puccini remained passionately wedded to the simple life of the Tuscan countryside of his youth.

About the Authors

Mary Jane Phillips-Matz is the author of Rosa Ponselle: American Diva, also published by Northeastern University Press, and the highly praised Verdi: A Biography, which won the Royal Philharmonic Prize, the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, and the New York Governor's Award of Excellence. She served as manager of the Spoleto Festival for several years, and is a regular contributor to Opera News. She lives in New York City. William Weaver is Professor of Literature at Bard College. He is a music critic, author of several books on nineteenth-century Italian opera, and translator of many contemporary Italian writers of fiction. He won the National Book Award for his translation of Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics.

Reviews

“Puccini, a well-researched and accessible study, will appeal to fans and scholars alike. The author provides a snapshot of a gifted composer who faced tremendous challenges on the personal and professional fronts. . . . Highly recommended.”—Opera Journal
Northeastern University Press

9781555535308 : puccini-phillips-matz-weaver
Hardback
384 Pages
$45.00 USD

Other Titles by Mary Jane Phillips-Matz

Rosa Ponselle

Mary Jane Phillips-Matz, OtherBeverly Sills
Oct 1997 - Northeastern University Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Composers & Musicians

Reflections on Malcolm Forsyth

Mary I. Ingraham
Oct 2019 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$34.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Jarmila Novotná

Jarmila Novotná, edited by William V. Madison, foreword by Brian Kellow
Nov 2018 - University Press of Kentucky
$39.95 USD - Hardback

Giving Voice to Traditional Songs

Brownrigg
May 2018 - University of South Carolina Press
$24.99 USD - Electronic book text