AUF 13th Annual Conference, Fall 2024

Puccini Forever! The Maestro’s Centennial Legacy in the Arts

Stony Brook University and The American University of Florence

are pleased to announce the 13th Annual Conference,

which will take place in Florence on Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7, 2024

With the support of Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence

and of The Center for Italian Studies at Stony Brook University

The title of the international conference:

Puccini Forever! 

The Maestro’s Centennial Legacy in the Arts  

I am truly grateful to the great audiences of New York for the enthusiastic reception given to my works. I accept your wishes for a safe journey and conclude by exclaiming: “America forever!”


With this passionate salute, a quote from the first act of “Madama Butterfly,” Giacomo Puccini bid farewell to the American audience that had triumphantly welcomed him, as he set sail from New York in February, 1907. Puccini had traveled to America earlier that year, because the Metropolitan Opera was presenting “Manon Lescaut” and “Madama Butterfly,” both performed by an exceptional tenor, Enrico Caruso. During his stay, Puccini conceived the idea for an opera set in the California Gold Rush, “La Fanciulla del West,” inspired by David Belasco’s “The Girl of the Golden West,” who had written the drama Puccini used as the basis for “Madama Butterfly.” The opera premiered at the Metropolitan in 1910.

Puccini’s works reflected the influences of Italian opera composers, while incorporating new international narratives. His worldwide recognition grew following the success of “Manon Lescaut” (1893) and “La Bohème” (1896). Puccini was being praised for his unique ability to infuse emotion into his compositions, and this reached its peak with the political drama “Tosca” (1900) and the tragedy “Madama Butterfly” (1904). Later in his career, he explored exotic themes with “Turandot” (completed posthumously by Franco Alfano in 1926), demonstrating his interest in Persian influences. Puccini’s operas are renowned for their melodic richness, dramatic intensity, and innovative use of orchestration.

In the centenary of Giacomo Puccini’s death, the seventieth anniversary of the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, and the hundred and twentieth anniversary of the premiere of “Madama Butterfly,” we plan  to honor the Maestro by acknowledging his international legacy and reception by both American and Italian audiences.

Puccini’s masterpieces created a rich legacy in which various art forms blend seamlessly. This conference will explore different fields and disciplines including Visual and Performing Arts, Art History, Music Studies, Cinema, Communication, Geography, History, Literature, Sociology, Politics, and Digital Media.


Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • The Creative Connection between Puccini and the United States 
  • Puccini’s Tribute to American Cultural Heritage and Folklore 
  • Public Reception of Puccini’s Masterpieces in America 
  • Puccini’s Enduring Influence on American Popular Culture 
  • The Impact of Puccini’s Operas on Visual Arts, Cinema, and Drama 
  • Key Elements of Storytelling in Puccini’s Works 
  • Modern Opera in the Era of Digital Media, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence
  • Puccini’s Fame in the Media 
  • The Role of Costume Design and Staged Identity in Puccini’s Operas 
  • Symbolism and Iconography in Puccini’s Works 
  • The Nuances of Socio-Political Discourse in Modern Opera

Abstract Submission

Submit a one-page abstract (not exceeding 300 words) and a brief curriculum vitae in English to no later than Friday, August 30th 2024. All proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Committee, which will notify selected candidates by Monday, September 16th, 2024. Conference presentations must be conducted in English and should not exceed 20 minutes. Selected papers will be published in an online volume of the conference proceedings.

Conference Venue

The American University of Florence

Corso dei Tintori, 21

Florence, Italy 50122

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