It’s a happy accident of translation that the word “opera” in Italian translates into English as both “opera” (as in musical drama, opera lirica) and “work”. So the neatly named permanent exhibition in Lucca of “puccini Opera” can serve both as a showcase for the maestro’s whole output of work and his famous operas.
You’ll find Puccini Opera in Via Santa Giustina, midway between Piazza San Salvatore and Via Galli Tassi in the centre of Lucca. Established in the last few months by a not for profit organisation, this elegant little establishment offers three exhibition rooms and a shop.
The permanent exhibition tells the life story of Lucca’s famous composer Giacomo Puccini through opera posters,programmes and sheet music, much of which has been lent from private collections. Puccini was in fact very effectively promoted his publishing house Ricordi packaged him like no other previous composer, with posters, postcards and elegantly illustrated editions of his scores which are collectors’ items in themselves.
In addition to the permanent collection, Puccini Opera is currently offering two temporary exhibitions Puccini e il Cinema, with an outstanding collection of posters of the many films inspired by Puccini’s life and operas; and I Piatti di Puccini featuring original porcelain and ceramic works illustrating scenes from the operas, from two important Italian manufactures Richard Ginori and Piero Fornasetti.
A thrid exhibition will open on 18 September promising Puccini Mai Visto with rare photographs, previously unseen letters, and the composer’s own signed score of his exquisite “Salve Regina”.
Lots to see, then there is even a tiny viewing room with a large screen showing performances of arias from his operas by famous singers. And last but not least, a shop with an interesting collection of new and second hand books about the composer and his music in both Italian and English, and a good range of CDs and souvenirs.
Via Santa Giustina 16, Lucca. Entrance free. Open every day except Tuesday from 10 am until 7 pm.
More information on www.pucciniopera.it