Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer known almost exclusively for his operas, many of which are standard compositions and among the most frequently performed in the genre. These include La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot.
Puccini is regarded by some as one of the last major Italian opera composers. His repertoire is essentially rooted in verismo – a post-Romantic operatic tradition and literary style. Although his work is essentially based on traditional late-19th century Italian opera, his music also reflects influences from some of his contemporaries, including Igor Stravinsky, as well as the musical trends of that era, such as Impressionism. Common themes within his operas include the important role, yet usually tragic end, of his heroines. Puccini also had a fascination with exoticism in his operas, and placed several of them in such settings through location, environment, style, and characterization.
Puccini's style occupies a place in the popular tradition of Verdi, and his style of orchestration was strongly influenced by Richard Wagner. One of his most characteristic elements is the way in which Puccini matches specific orchestral configurations and timbres to different dramatic moments. In addition, although Puccini is mainly known for his operas, he also wrote some other orchestral pieces, sacred music, chamber music and songs for voice and piano.
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