Cover image for Puccini : his international art
Puccini : his international art
Girardi, Michele.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Giacomo Puccini. English
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 530 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Originally published as: Giacomo Puccini : l'arte internazionale di un musicista italiani. Venezia : Marsilio, c1995.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.P89 G5713 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Puccini's operas are among the most popular and widely performed in the world, yet few books have examined his body of work from an analytical perspective. This volume remedies that lack in lively prose accessible to scholars and opera enthusiasts alike.

Author Notes

Michele Girardi is an associate professor of musicology and the history of contemporary music at the University of Pavia, Italy. He was awarded the "Massimo Mila" prize, given to the best monograph on music published in Italy between 1993 and 1996, for the Italian edition of this book.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

As often happens with works of great popular appeal, the operas of Puccini are less likely to receive scholarly consideration than those, say, of Richard Wagner. Girardi (musicology and the history of contemporary music, Univ. of Pavia, Italy) puts Puccini in perspective as a master composer, emphasizing the often-complex symphonic nature of his writing. The operas are treated chronologically and analyzed in great detail. Along with 196 musical examples, there are extensive quotations from Puccini!s correspondence, excerpts from reviews (and the composer!s reactions to them), and discussion of the original casts. A clear and immediate picture emerges of Puccini!s musical development and of the creative process, with thorough documentation of the composer!s involvement in all aspects of production and his relationships with librettists, publishers, conductors, and singers. Of special interest is a detailed account of the controversy surrounding the completion of Turandot (after Puccini!s death) by fellow composer Franco Alfano. The writing, even in translation, is always precise and engaging, although the painstaking musical analysis may limit its appeal for the general reader. Some may find Girardi!s theories concerning Puccini!s use of leitmotivs a stretch, but this important work fills a gap in opera scholarship and is an essential purchase for large music collections."Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

With regard to Puccini's contribution to music in general and to the world of opera performance specifically, Girardi (Univ. of Pavia, Italy) has written the most comprehensive Puccini study to date. His perceptive commentaries, his awareness of the last 50 years of Puccini scholarship, his insightful analyses of musical style--including the composer's role in the continuum of traditional Italian opera development as related to 20th-century compositional modes--and his evaluation of Puccini within overall historical contexts are without parallel. Whereas much extant Puccini criticism deals largely with the composer's dramatic realization of his libretti and their theatrical implications for singers, Girardi analyzes important overlooked musical components that constitute the real reason that Puccini's oeuvre has endured. A major accomplishment, this book adds new dimensions to Puccini research and formal criticism. Engagingly written and translated, this sturdily bound volume--with its catalog of works, selected bibliography, and thorough indexing--should be on the shelf of every library serving students, scholars, or lovers of opera. R. Miller; Oberlin College

Table of Contents

ForewordWilliam Ashbrook
Preface to the English Edition
Note on Editions
Note on the Musical Examples
List of Abbreviations
1 Dynasty of Composers
2 Scapigliatura Interlude
3 Manon Lescaut: Wagner and the Eighteenth Century
4 La Boheme: The Poetic Reality
5 Tosca: Rome between Faith and Power
6 Madama Butterfly: An Exotic Tragedy
7 Puccini in the Twentieth Century
8 Wars, a la Operetta
9 Experimental Dramaturgy
10 Turandot!
Catalog of Works
Selected Bibliography