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Giovanni Pacini

The composer Giovanni Pacini (Catania, 17 February 1796 – Pescia, 6 December 1867) was the son of Isabella Paulillo and the Tuscan tenor Luigi Pacini. He began studying singing, counterpoint and composition at a very young age and quickly attained success with his opera Adelaide e Comingio, which was performed in 1817 at the Teatro Re in Milan, thereby launching his long career in the world of opera.

Around the 1820s, he settled in Viareggio: this city on the Tuscan Riviera was to be the romantic backdrop for the sentimental liaison between the musician and Pauline Borghese, Napoléon Bonaparte’s sister. Next, he moved to Naples, where he married Adelaide Castelli in 1825 and where he was the director of the Teatro San Carlo for many years. The death of his wife in 1828 and the failure of his opera Charles of Burgundy at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice led Pacini to move back to Viareggio, where he dedicated himself to teaching.

In 1837 he was named Choirmaster in Lucca and then married for the second time, taking Marietta Albini as his wife, a famous soprano who appeared in many of his operas. In 1857 he moved to Pescia where he passed the last years of his life. In 1849 his second wife also died and in 1865 he married a third time, taking Marianna Scoti as his spouse, who saw to the posthumous edition of Pacini’s operas and the publication his autobiography.

Pacini died in Pescia on 6 December 1867 and the city Theatre was dedicated to him.