Success was not always immediate for Giacomo Puccini. With the première of his opera Madama Butterfly at La Scala Milan, Puccini and his team were convinced of a triumph.
The reality was the opposite. Puccini described it as a 'real lynching'.
There was silence when there should have been applause; jokes were made; animal noises were imitated; and whistles and boos followed the final curtain.
Puccini believed the hostile reception had been planned in advance by a rival publisher.
The opera was never seen again at La Scala during Puccini's lifetime but it quickly made its way around the world receiving the accolades it deserved.
PUCCINI: O Mio Babbino Caro, from Gianni Schicchi –Renata Tebaldi; The Farewell Tour – sourced from itunes
PUCCINI: Piccolo Walzer S. 66, from Puccini the Organist - Passacaille 952
PUCCINI: Cum Sancto Spiritu from Messa di Gloria - EMI 5 57159
PUCCINI: Donna non vida mai, from Manon – Pearl EVC III
PUCCINI: Questo mar rosso, from La Boheme - Decca 421 049
PUCCINI: Si, mi chiamano Mimi, from La Boheme - Decca 421 049
PUCCINI: Tosca, end of Act 1 – EMI CDS 7 47175
PUCCINI: Tosca, excerpt from Act 2 – EMI CDS 7 47175
PUCCINI: Un Bel di, from Madame Butterfly – Decca 411 634
PUCCINI: Chi il bel Sogno, from La Rondine - EMI 5 57955
PUCCINI: Liu Funeral music - EMI CDS 7 47971
PUCCINI: Nessun Dorma from Turandot - Decca 467 620