The University of Chicago will host an exhibit and symposium exploring the life work of Giacomo Puccini, acclaimed opera composer of La bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, and many others.
The exhibit, Puccini e Lucca a Chicago (Jan 15—Feb 17, 2013), tells the little-known story of Puccini’s strong attachment to his hometown of Lucca, located in Tuscany, Central Italy. Presented in printed panels and rotating digital slides, the exhibit presents never-before-seen photographs of Puccini and the places where he grew up and was formed into one of the best-loved names in opera. The narrative, presented in both English and Italian, deepens the opera-going public's understanding of what motivated one of the world’s most celebrated opera composers. The exhibit was first presented as part of the 2008 celebrations of Puccini's 150th birthday. It then traveled to several cities in China and South America. In the last year and a half, it has been exhibited in Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh.
A celebratory symposium and reception are planned for Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 2-5 pm at the Logan Center. Following welcoming remarks by the mayor of Lucca, Professor Gabriella Biagi Ravenni of the University of Pisa and Director of the Fondazione Giacomo Puccini in Lucca will present an unknown film of Puccini at home. Two opera scholars will then discuss Puccini and La bohème: UChicago’s Professor Philip Gossett, one of the world's foremost experts on 19th century Italian opera, and Puccini scholar Suzanne Scherr. Scherr’s presentation on tempo will include Puccini selections performed by professional singers (in anticipation of the opening of La bohème at Lyric Opera of Chicago). The symposium will be followed by a reception.
Puccini e Lucca a Chicago is co-sponsored by the Logan Center for the Arts, the Department of Music at UChicago, Fondazione Giacomo Puccini Lucca and the Lucchesi Nel Mondo Association: Chicago.