A new film about Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) has revealed that he may have a second living descendant, Nadia Manfredi, who has asked for a DNA test to find out the truth.
Puccini composed many of the frequently-performed operas in musicians’ standard repertoires today, including La Bohéme, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly. Like the passionate dramas his operas portrayed, his own life (particularly his love life) has not been bereft of intrigue. The new film, titled “Puccini e la Fanciulla” (Puccini and the Girl), which premiered at the Venice film festival, suggests he had an affair with a maidservant’s cousin, Giulia Manfredi. Manfredi’s granddaughter, Nadia Manfredi, is now seeking to prove this relationship through a DNA test.
In 1978, Simonetta Pucini, currently the only living heir to Puccini’s estate and legacy, won a legal battle to prove that she was the illegitimate daughter of Puccini’s son Antonio. She inherited most of his estate, including a villa in Torre del Lago, which is now a museum and archive. With the news of another possible new heir, she has asked local residents to sign a petition to protect his memory from what she dismisses as local gossip.