We present this fourth volume of Studi puccinianni with conflicting emotions. More than anything else, our pleasure in its appearance is tempered by the absence of three persons, distinguished colleagues and dear friends: our founding president Julian Budden, and two members of the advisory board, William Ashbrook and Harold Powers. Their scholarship inspired us when we began our scholarly careers, their friendship helped us through many vicissitudes, both professional and personal, and their absence will be keenly felt as the Centro studi Giacomo Puccini moves through its second decade of existence. The passing of these three extraordinary scholars within such a short span of time marks the end of a remarkable era in Italian opera scholarship, of which we can truly say that gigantes erant super terram in diebus illis.
The contents of this volume again present a variety of essays, ranging from the Italian symphonic genre around 1890 and the «Messa a 4 voci» to individual operas (Manon Lescaut, La fanciulla del West), and documents that look back to the Butterfly year of 2004 and ahead to the centennial of La fanciulla del West in 2010. The latter include interviews with Puccini in New York during his stays in that city that are not easily accessible. As usual, there is also a bibliographical update, in this instance for the period 2000-2009.
Finally, we are pleased to note that the publications of the Centro studi Giacomo Puccini, including Studi pucciniani 4, now bear the imprint of the distinguished Italian publishing house of Leo S. Olschki.

Virgilio Bernardoni, Michele Girardi, Arthur Groos