Main Article Content
The popularity of Puccini’s melodramatic operas, often derided by “serious” musicologists, has hindered a more rounded evaluation of his attempt at stylistic change. This paper offers a novel perspective of lifespan creative development in order to move the discussion of Puccini beyond the dichotomy of popular versus high-brow culture. Tracing the aspects of gradual stylistic change that began in The Girl from the Golden West (1910) through the three operas of Il Trittico: Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi (1918–1919), the paper then focuses on Puccini’s last opera, Turandot (1926), as exemplifying a potential turn to a reflexive, philosophical style which is very different from the melodramatic, sentimentalist style generally associated with his work. In order to discuss this change as embodying a turn to late style, the paper identifies major stylistic shifts as well as underlying themes in the work of Puccini. Th paper concludes by discussing the case of Puccini as a novel contribution to the discussion of lateness in art, until now reserved to a selected few ’“old Masters.”
The International Journal of Ageing and Later Life uses a Creative Commons: Attribution Non-commercial license which allows users to distribute the work and to reform or build upon it without the author's permission, for non-commercial purposes. Full reference to the author must be given.
See also LiU E-Press’ Copyright page for further information.
Adorno, T. W. (1949/2002). Essays in Music. Introduction and commentry by Leppert, R. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Ashbrook, W. & Powers, H. (1991). Puccini’s Turandot, the End of the Great Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Baltes, P. B. (1987). Theoretical propositions of life span developmental psychology. Developmental Psychology 23(5): 611–626. [Read this article]
Becker, H. (1982). Art Worlds. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Bentley, E. (1967). The Life of the Drama. New York: Atheneum.
Brinckmann, A. E. (1925). Spatwerke Grosser Meisters. In G. Rosenthal (1968) (ed.). From El Greco to Pollock. Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Museum of Art.
Budden, (2002). Puccini: His Life and Works. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Carner, M. (1964). Puccini: A Critical Biography. New York. Alfred A. Knopf.
Clark, K. (1972). The Artist Growing Old. The Rede Lecture, 1970. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cohen-Shalev, A. (1989). Old age style: Developmental changes in creative productivity from a life span perspective. Journal of Aging Studies 1(3): 21–37. [Read this article]
Cohen-Shalev, A. (2002). Both Worlds at Once: Art in Old Age. Durham, NC: University Press of America.
Dormandy, T. (2000). Old Masters: Great Artists in Old Age. London: Hambledon and London.
Greefield, H. (1980). Puccini: A Biography. New York: Robert Hale Publishing.
Greenwald, H. (1993). Recent Puccini Research. Acta Musicologica 65(1): 23–50. [Read this article]
Kapsis, R. (1989). Reputation building and the social art world: The case of Alfred Hitchcock. The Sociological Quarterly 30(1): 15–35. [Read this article]
Kastenbaum, R. (1992). The Creative Process: A life span Approach. In T. R. Cole, D. Van Tassel & R. Kastenbaum (eds.) Handbook of the Humanities and Aging (pp. 285–306). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Kastenbaum, R. (2000). Creativity and the Arts. In T. R. Cole, R. Kastenbaum & R. E. Ray (eds.) Handbook of the Humanities and Aging (pp. 381–401). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Kerman, J. (2005). Opera as Drama. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Lehman, H. (1953). Age and Achievement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Lindauer, M. S. (2003). Aging, Creativity and Art: A Positive Perspective on Life Span Development. New York: Springer.
Marek, G. (1953). Puccini: A Biography. New York: Simon and Schuster.
McDonald, R. (2006). Shakespeare’s Late Style. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.
Romaniuk, J. G. and Romaniuk, M. (1981). Creativity across the Life Span: A Measurement Perspective. Human Development 24(6): 366–381.
Rosenthal, G. (1968). From El Greco to Pollock. Batimore, MD: Baltimore Museum of Art.
Said, E. W. (2006). On Late Style: Music and Literature against the Grain. New York: Pantheon Books.
Simmel, G. (1922). Das Abendmahl Leonardo da Vincis’, in Zur Philosophie der Kunst. [The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, in On the Philosophy of Art] (pp. 55–60), Potsdam, Germany.
Simonton, D. K. (1991). Creative productivity through the adult years. Generations Spring, 13–16.
Steiner, G. (1961). The Death of Tragedy. New York: Hill and Wang.
Weaver, W. (1977). Puccini: The Man and His Music. New York: Dutton, Metropolitan Opera Guild composer Series.
Wilson, A. (2005). Modernism and the machine woman in Puccini’s ‘Turandot’. Music & Letters 86(3): 432–453. [Read this article]
Woodward, K. (1980). At Last, the Real Distinguished Thing: The Late poetry of Eliot, Pound, Stevens and Williams. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.
Woodward, K. (1991). Aging and Its Discontents. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.