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 • Church of Saints Andrew and Bartholomew
 • Pescia
 • Provincia di Pistoia
 • Toscana
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Giovanni Pacini
Birth: Feb. 17, 1796
Death: Dec. 6, 1867

Composer. He was once a pillar of Italy's bel canto opera tradition. His finest opera, "Saffo" (1840), was an international favorite for much of the 19th Century and is still occasionally performed. Pacini was born in Catania, Italy, the son of a singer, and had his first opera premiered when he was 17. He started out as an imitator of Rossini and was probably his strongest rival in Italy during the 1820s, with such popular successes as "Alessandro nelle Indie" (1824), "L'ultimo giorno di Pompei" (1825), "Niobi" (1826), and "Gli arabi nelle Gallie" (1827). Along with wealth and celebrity came appointment as director of the San Carlo opera house in Naples, while his private life kept the gossips busy. (He had affairs with some prominent women, including Princess Pauline Borghese, Napoleon's sister). In 1835, following a string of flops and stiff competition from Bellini and Donizetti, Pacini took a hiatus from opera. Over the next few years he founded a music school and re-evaluated his style and his place in the Italian music scene. The reflection paid off with the triumphant comeback of "Saffo"; by 1847 it had been successfully staged in five countries, including the United States. The rise of Verdi at this time once again sent Pacini into eclipse, though he continued to produce theatre music. After his final hit, "Il saltimbanco" (1858), he retired to Pescia and devoted his last years to penning his memoirs (published in 1865) and instrumental opuses, including the "Dante Symphony" for piano and orchestra (1863). In his heyday Pacini was known as the "maestro della cabaletta" for his knack for creating tuneful, dramatically effective arias. Rossini believed he was the most naturally gifted Italian musician of their time and that only sloppy technique hindered him from achieving greatness. "God help us all if he really knew music", Rossini remarked to Donizetti. "He would leave us behind with the ease he has for writing". Instead he used this facility to become a commercial hack, churning out operas by the dozen, taking care only to tailor the vocal material to the needs of individual singers. "I gave little thought to honoring myself and my art as I should have done", he later admitted. With "Saffo" and his other operas of the early 1840s - among them "Maria, regina d'Inghilterra" and "Medea" (both 1843) - he announced a new seriousness of purpose, with innovative ensemble writing that had a certain influence on Verdi; but he lacked the creative mettle to further his experiments and soon reverted to what audiences expected from him. Virtually all of his 75 operas have long since vanished from the stage. Even "Saffo" is no longer a repertory item, though its periodic revivals in Europe have been warmly received. There are a number of live recordings of it, notably with sopranos Leyla Gencer (1967) and Montserrat Caballé (1989) in the title role. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Church of Saints Andrew and Bartholomew
Pescia
Provincia di Pistoia
Toscana, Italy
Plot: Chapel
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Jul 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73419400
Giovanni Pacini
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Giovanni Pacini
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Creative Commons
 
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- David Wend
 Added: Feb. 17, 2015
Thank you for the wonderful music you have left us. Blessings on your Angel Day, Giovanni.
- Kathyღ
 Added: Dec. 6, 2012
Thank you for your legacy. Rest in peace.
- Ken MacLeod
 Added: Jul. 24, 2012
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