Giacomo Puccini, one of the most important composers of all time, has always loved Tuscany, his native land. Born in Lucca, but swept away by the charms of Torre del Lago, he never abandoned these contexts that, more than a few times, inspired him in the creation of some of his internationally famous operas: La Bohème, Tosca, Madame Butterfly and Turandot.
To pay tribute to the great master, the Fondazione Festival Pucciniano organizes the Puccini Festival and the Mese Pucciniano (Puccini Month) in Torre del Lago each year.
The Puccini Festival is the most important opera festival in Italy and the only one in the world dedicated to Puccini. It takes place in the summer, in the months of July and August, in the places that were inspirational for the Maestro. The Festival offers the opportunity to listen to great stars of world opera interpreting Puccini's masterpieces, staged in a large open-air theatre on the shores of Lake Massaciuccoli, right in front of the Puccini House Museum.
Puccini Month is a rich programme of events that takes place between November 29 – the day of remembrance for the master, who passed away that day – and the month of December. The programme includes numerous events including concerts, talks and shows, and ends on January 1 with a New Year's Concert.
During Puccini Month, the Premio Puccini is awarded on December 22 (the Maestro's birthday). This prestigious recognition is given to the finest interpreters of a Puccini opera, instituted in 1971. The prize consists of a golden statue that depicts Giacomo Puccini with a wide-brimmed hat slightly tilted to the side, the collar of his coat popped and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth haphazardly, following the original design of a sculpture by Paolo Trubetzkoy in the statue that since 1949 has been situated on the piazzale of Torre del Lago.