Francesco Lucca (1802-1872) was an apprentice under G. Ricordi for 6 years; when he returned to Italy after travelling from 1822-1825, he started an engraving workshop in Milan. The earliest samples were much admired for their clarity and accuracy. Near the end of 1841, he returned to Ricordi to work opposite La Scala; in January of that year he had announced that he had the reproduction and transfer rights to Donizetti's Adelia and La favorita. He then took over a part of the agency for Nabucco with Ricordi. Lucca brought out several subsequent operas of Verdi, including Il corsaro, Attila, and I masnadieri, but Verdi moved to Ricordi after a quarrel, which generated tension between the two firms. in 1840, Lucca had gotten Der Freischutz, and had it translated under the title "Il magico bersagliere." Lucca had success with operas by Mercadante, Pacini, and others. Lucca printed these using treble and bass clefs only, for the first time.
His wife joined the business around 1850, and acquired the rights for Italy of Gounod's Faust, and other major works. In 1868, she purchased the exclusive Italian rights for the entirety of Wagner's works. After Francesco's death, she took over the firm entirely. Major expansions caused Verdi to advise Ricordi to acquire Lucca, which they did in 1888, at a price of 1,000,000 Lire. This expanded Ricordi much, giving them around 40,000 new titles.
- 1. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie.
- New York and London: Macmillan Publications, 1980.