The Leitmotif Technique in Puccini's La Bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly
Before Wagner, the leitmotif was used independently and was not associated with other motifs. In Wagner's musical dramas, especially in Der Ring Des Nibelungen, the leitmotif technique was given special consideration and emphasis. Several motifs appeared together to present complex emotions or situations. The whole Ring is bound by a web of leitmotifs.
Compared to Wagner's leitmotif technique, Puccini's approach to the leitmotif is simple. In the three operas: La Boheme, Tosca and Madama Butterfly, most of the leitmotifs are used in a manner that is similar to the reminiscence motif. That is, in their reappearances, the motifs retain generally their melodic shape but sometimes there are changes in rhythm, harmony, and tempo. There are a few motifs that resemble Weber's technique. Wagner's treatment of the leitmotif, however, is not found in these operas.
Advisor:Klose, Robert; Thompson, Claud; Gullickson, Garry; Kaplan, David; Howard, Dorothy; Blum, Martha; Johnston, Richard; Forsyth, Louise
School:University of Saskatchewan
School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:09/11/2008