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The Christmas fruitcake fiasco: Puccini versus Toscanini

In the spirit of the season Cultural Cocktail Hour will share a holiday favorite!

In her revealing book, Secret Lives of the Great Composers, Elizabeth Lundy described a fruity fiasco between two rivals: opera composers, Giacomo Puccini and conductor Arturo Toscanini:

“During the years of Puccini and Toscanini’s feud, they had very little contact- except for one Christmastime incident. That year Puccini forgot to remove the conductor’s name from the list of friends to whom he sent the traditional Italian holiday gift, a pannetone cake.

When Puccini realized his error, he sent Toscanini a telegram reading:

“PANNETONE SENT BY MISTAKE. PUCCINI.”

Toscanini replied, “PANNETONE EATEN BY MISTAKE. TOSCANINI.”

Posted by on December 1st, 2019

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