"Puccini? A sadist. He tore his heroines apart. He loved women but he was afraid of them : he could only exalt them through suffering. He mistreated women even when it came to their performances: think about Tosca: the soprano has to be on stage nonstop, maiming her voice. His hatred had deep-seated reasons: Puccini lived with a woman, she was dominating him... Liu', Tosca, Cio-Cio-San: Puccini's sadism is there, in his tragic heroines. It's only absent from Turandot, because she's a winner. And Puccini is unable to allow a woman to win".
-- Raina Kabaivanska, 1997, Corriere della Sera
"If Puccini were alive today, I'd be in love with him. I am sure of it. He knew how to write for sopranos: he really loved them"
-- Angela Gheorghiu, 2005, The Independent
Less than 24 hours before la prima of Madama Butterfly at La Scala, Opera Chic wonders about the nerdy mustachioed hunting-obsessed composer: male chauvinist payg or feminism pioneer in disguise? Raina or Angela?
And Angela, whatever you do please don't dump Roberto for some Eurotrashy Puccini lookalike -- the poor man's already way 2 scr3wed up, girl, m'kay? k thx