Giacomo Puccini Biography
Descended from a family of musicians, Puccini was the most important Italian opera composer in the generation after Verdi. He was born and educated in Lucca, later studying under Ponchielli at the Milan Conservatory. He began his career as a composer of opera with Le Villi, on the story familiar from Adam's ballet Giselle, but first won significant success in 1893 with Manon Lescaut. A musical dramatist of considerable power, if sometimes lacking in depth, he wrote in all twelve operas, the last, Turandot, still unfinished at the time of his death in 1924.