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  • Watch: Nicola Luisotti on Puccini – ‘You can learn more from one of Puccini’s scores than from books’

Watch: Nicola Luisotti on Puccini – ‘You can learn more from one of Puccini’s scores than from books’

The conductor discusses the composer’s deceptive genius, and how best to approach his operas.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

27 May 2015 at 12.46pm | Comment on this article

Puccini was a genius’, says Italian conductor Nicola Luisotti. ‘You can learn more from one of Puccini’s scores than from books of orchestration.’

Luisotti, Music Director of San Francisco Opera, made his Royal Opera debut in January 2007 conducting Verdi’s Il trovatore. He has since returned to Covent Garden on numerous occasions, most recently conducting Kristine Opolais and Brian Jagde in Madama Butterfly this spring.

‘When I was younger, I thought Puccini was easy. Then when I grew up, I studied his scores and I said to myself, “Nicola, you were really stupid when you thought this about a great, talented and gifted and composer!”

‘Puccini is attractive because he speaks directly to our hearts’, he continues. ‘When I study at the piano, I can understand what is written technically, but how the sounds and orchestration of the instruments is combined is a mystery – it’s a miracle!’

‘What Puccini needs is that you breathe the music with him’, says Luisotti of how to approach the composer’s work as a conductor.

Puccini’s Tosca runs 9 January–5 February 2016. Tickets are still available.

Luisotti will next appear at Covent Garden conducting Verdi’s La traviata in March 2016. Find out what Puccini operas we have coming up at the Royal Opera House.

Watch more films like this on the Royal Opera House YouTube Channel:

Madama Butterfly runs 20 March–25 April 2017. Tickets will be available soon.

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