The Operas of Giacomo Puccini
with Robert Butts
Giacomo Puccini, Dr. Robert Butts
Five Wednesdays: Sep 27, Oct 4, 11 and 18; Nov 8; 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
(No class Oct 25 and Nov 1)
in the 1890s was heavily influenced by dramatic ideas of realism and a
new modernist musical approach. This new style was called
"verismo." It began with one-act operas by Pietro Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Ruggero Leoncavallo (I Pagliacci),
but it was Puccini's genius that captured the new trends in creating
operas that remain among the most popular with audiences and artists.
Manon Lescaut, La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly influenced not only the opera world, but the music of Broadway and Hollywood in the 20th century. La Fanciulla del West
was the first opera by a major composer to be premiered in America when
it was performed on commission at The Metropolitan Opera House
featuring the young super-star tenor, Enrico Caruso.
Puccini's career ended with the uncompleted yet still beloved masterpiece, Turandot, featuring nessun dorma, the world's most popular aria.
Robert Butts has won acclaim as conductor, composer and educator.
He is the director of the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. He
teaches/lectures at Montclair State University, the Caspersen School of
Graduate Studies at Drew University, New Jersey Council for the
Humanities and the College of Saint Elizabeth.