Festival Puccini (Festival Pucciniano)
Photos courtesy of Festival Pucciniano. Turandot photos by Aldo Umicini and Giorgio Andreuccetti.
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|Country and Region||Italy — Tuscany|
|Type of Festival||Drama, Music|
|Location of Festival||Torre del Lago Puccini, Tuscany, Italy|
|Festival Contact Information|
Fondazione Festival Pucciniano
A deep love lasting over thirty years linked Giacomo Puccini to the charming hamlet of Torre del Lago, which then was then renamed Torre del Lago Puccini to the pride of all its inhabitants. When the great composer first arrived here, at the end of the 19th century, he was searching and he found a picturesque and quiet place where his creative genius could spring forth. Puccini immediately liked the Lake and the small village, whose houses were mirrored in the blue-grey waters of Massacciuccoli lake, less than two kilometres far from the sandy beaches of Versilia, and the inhabitants welcomed him enthusiastically. Upon his arrival at the village railway station the young composer even found a welcome group and several artists, with whom later on he would have founded the Club de La Bohème, who gathered around him, happy to meet an already well-known person.
In those years an extraordinary artistic fervour of ideas and the people involved moved throughout the whole region—Florence, Livorno, and also Lucca—(where Puccini was born) were in close contact with Paris and the other European capitals. Painters and musicians used to meet in private houses and cafés, but then they went back where nature still offered them strong sensations in order to return to the roots of their inspiration, to find the purest lights and sounds. “Sunny beaches, fresh pinewoods, the lake always quiet, that is to say, the Eden”.
Puccini had two great passions, music and hunting, and the Massaciuccoli Lake was the ideal place where he could cultivate both. He arrived here in 1891, at the age of 33, and decided to live there in some rented rooms. Following the successes of Manon Lescaut (1893) e della Bohème (1896) he earned enough money to buy the his life-long home. It featured an ancient watch tower (after which Torre del Lago had been named) which he completely rebuilt. Marquess Ginori, owner of these lands, gave him permission to fill a part of the lakeshore in front of the house with soil in order to build the garden and the road. Just outside the house the small pier stood from where he left for his shoots, in particular to hunt bald coots and snipes. The house, which can be visited, still treasures the pianos on which he composed his masterpieces, memorabilia of the greatest performances, the prizes of his international triumphs, the paintings by his friend Ferruccio Pagni, whom the composer used to gather with other artists such as Plinio Nomellini and Tommasi brothers.
Puccini lived in Torre del Lago for thirty years and here he composed his main operas, among which Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), La Fanciulla del West (1910), La Rondine (1917) and Il Trittico (1918). In 1921 he moved to the new villa he had built in Viareggio, where he actually lived only three years, until his death in 1924. According to his son’s will, the Maestro is buried in a chapel built inside the old house at the lake.
The lake, can be toured by boat that leaves from the pier in front of Villa Puccini. Today the lake belongs to the Regional Park of Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli, which covers 24 thousand hectares of beaches, pinewoods, and marshlands. Puccini and his music gave birth to the Puccini Festival, which following Puccini’s wishes has taken place on these lakeshores since 1930 and which is completely dedicated to his work.
|Festival Dates||July 12 - August 17, 2013|
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Torre del Lago Puccini, Tuscany, Italy