Giacomo Puccini

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Giacomo Puccini

La Bohème

Sketches for Act IV
Autograph manuscript, 12 December 1895

The Dannie and Hettie Heineman Collection

Heineman MS 173B
Item description: 

This 36-measure sketch begins on the reverse side with a draft of material that precedes Mimi's Act 4 "Sono andati?" followed by Puccini's signature and date: Torre del Lago / 12.99. Further down, on the page that is displayed, are the first five measures of Colline's arioso "Vecchia zimarra" (which in the opera precedes this 36-measure sketch), followed by Puccini's self-caricature, signature, and date: Torre del Lago / 12.12.90cinque (12 December 1895). It has been suggested that the 1895 inscription dates from the completion of the work, while the signature and date of 12.99 were penned when Puccini gave the leaf away. With the success of Manon Lescaut and La Bohème, Puccini became financially secure.