Personalities | Luigi Illica | Turn of the Century | Opera

1857–1919, Italian

At the beginning of the 1890s, librettist Illica began an association with the Ricordi publishing house that resulted in collaborations with the most prominent Italian opera composers over the next 20 years. Most significant was his work with Puccini. Although they had a tempestuous relationship, it resulted in Manon Lescaut and, in collaboration with Giuseppe Giacosa, La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly. Illica’s work, though perhaps not of the highest literary order, shows great awareness of theatre and its needs. His ability to shape action and character were invaluable to his collaborators, as was his catholic taste.

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