Giacomo Puccini was born at Lucca in 1858 and studied music at Milan under Ponchielli (1834-1886), composer of the melodrama La Gioconda (1876, libretto by Boito after Victor Hugo). Ponchielli suggested the writing of the one act opera Le villi to Puccini, with words by Ferdinando Fontana (one of the “scapigliaturo” group of Italian bohemian artists) and Boito recommended it for production at Milan in 1884. As a result, Puccini was taken up and promoted by the publisher Giulio Ricordi (1840-1912), as the successor to Verdi, whom he had also backed. A second opera followed and failed, Edgar (Milan, 1889), also with Fontana, using a verse-play by Alfred Musset, La Coupe et les lévres. During this time …
Tambling, Jeremy. "Giacomo Puccini". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 September 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
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