The Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini is viewed as the most important succesor of Giuseppe Verdi. Puccini was a true theatre man, who knew how to combine words, gesture and music seamlessly to emotionally touch the audience. Puccini's creative process was a tormented him. Often, librettists had to swallow a lot before he was satisfied with the text. Because of this, he only composed relatively few operas, but among those are some real masterworks. In his opera Tosca, Puccini knows how to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, and in his operas La Bohème and Madame Butterfly, it is hard not to weep in the end.
Moreover, Puccini was able to compose arias which Verdi would have called "something for the organ grinder": melodies which linger in your head and people sing in the streets. This was proven once again by his famous "Nessun Dorma", which was used for the world championship football, and his "O Mio Babbino Caro" which was used in a well-known commercial. Due to his popularity and commercial success, critics did not acknowledge his talents for a long time. They accused him of a sensationalist approach. His reputation as a lover of women and fast cars certainly didn't help with his image either!