94. Simon Boccanegra (Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in a prologue and three acts Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave, with additions by Giuseppe Montanelli, after Antonio García Gutiérrez's play Simón Bocanegra First performed: Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 12 March 1857 Revised version: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 24 March 1881, with additions and alterations by Arrigo Boito "I've had a fiasco in … Continue reading 94. Simon Boccanegra (Giuseppe Verdi)

77. Vendetta in domino

We talked last time about Auber's Gustave III (1833), a dramatic retelling of the assassination of 18th century Swedish king Gustave III at a masked ball.Several Italian composers loved the story, and wanted to adapt it.Bellini called it "magnificent, spectacular, historical!"; had he lived, it would have been his next project after I puritani.  One Vincenzo Gabussi wrote Clemenza … Continue reading 77. Vendetta in domino

37. Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio (Giuseppe Verdi)

OBERTO, CONTE DI SAN BONIFACIOOpera in 2 actsBy Giuseppe VerdiLibretto: Temistocle Solera & Antonio PiazzaVerdi's first opera.First performed: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 17 November 1839Verdi's first opera, a bel canto work written under the influence of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti.The backdrop of the opera is Italian feudal politics of the early 13th century, but that's … Continue reading 37. Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio (Giuseppe Verdi)

30. Il trovatore (Giuseppe Verdi)

IL TROVATOREBy Giuseppe VerdiLibretto: Salvatore Cammarano, completed by Leone Emanuele Bardare, based on Antonio Garcia Gutiérrez’s play El TrovadorFirst performed: Teatro Apollo, Rome, 19 January 1853 Il Trovatore is one of Verdi’s Big Three, the popular operas he composed in the early 1850s.  It’s also the odd one out.The works on either side – Rigoletto (1851) … Continue reading 30. Il trovatore (Giuseppe Verdi)

22. La forza del destino (Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in 4 actsBy Giuseppe VerdiLibrettist: Francesco Maria Piave, after Ángel de Saavedra'sDon Álvaro o la fuerza del sino (1835)First performed: Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia, 10 November 1862.Revised version: La Scala, Milan, 27 February 1869.La forza del destino is a vast, even unwieldy, opera – and one of Verdi’s most difficult works.  He … Continue reading 22. La forza del destino (Giuseppe Verdi)

16. Macbeth (Giuseppe Verdi)

MACBETH Dramma lirico in 4 acts By Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave and Andrea Maffei, after Shakespeare’s play (1606) First performed: Teatro della Pergola, Florence, 14 March 1847 Revised version: Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, 21 April 1865 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKGqnt_VNiI&w=640&h=385 Verdi, like Berlioz and Wagner, was a Shakespeare fanboy. “He is my favourite poet,” he told a … Continue reading 16. Macbeth (Giuseppe Verdi)