When Puccini Came, Saw and Conquered New York City

Nov 23, 2018 1151

BY: Michael Cooper

He visited Little Italy and Chinatown, posed for pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge, marveled at the tall buildings and took in shows. He played cards in the back room of an Italian restaurant on 34th Street with the tenor Enrico Caruso. He was the toast of Gilded Age New York, thronged by reporters and cheered on by Vanderbilts and Astors. Giacomo Puccini was a quintessentially Italian composer — “La Bohème” and “Tosca” remain opera house staples, more than a century after they were written — but his career was also shaped by the time he spent in New York.

He visited twice: The Metropolitan Opera brought him over in 1907 to oversee its first productions of “Manon Lescaut” and “Madama Butterfly,” then again in 1910 when it staged the world premiere of his American-themed opera, “La Fanciulla del West.” In 1918, the Met gave the premiere of “Il Trittico” — which the company is reviving Nov. 23 to Dec. 15, with a cast including Plácido Domingo, to mark the work’s centennial — but World War I kept Puccini from the opening.

Read more

SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/

You may be interested