Giacomo Puccini is today the most popular of opera composers, but not necessarily the most respected. From humble origins in the town of Lucca in Tuscany, he rose from the Milan Conservatoire to compose some of the greatest Italian operas. His love of his home and its local lake, his serial infidelities, his unhappy marriage, his obsession with hunting and his final illness are told alongside the story of his music.
Interviewees include Puccini’s grand-daughter Simonetta Puccini, opera producer and actor Simon Callow, experts Julian Budden, William Ashbrook, Leonardo Pinzauti, Alan Sievwright and conductor Sir Charles Mackerras.
The programme contains extracts from his operas, sung by José Cura, Leontina Vaduva and Julia Migenes, with conductor Richard Buckley and the BBC Phiharmonic.
Music performed by Jose Cura Julia Migenes Leontina Vaduva
The BBC Philharmonic Conductor: Richard Buckley
Narrator: Kenneth Branagh
Contributors: Raymond Gubbay • Jonathan Miller • Julia Migenes • Jose Cura • Simon Callow • Sir Charles Mackerras
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