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)

76. A masked ball

Gustav III, King of Sweden (r. 1771-1792), was an enlightened despot and lover of the arts, murdered in 1792 by a conspiracy of nobles. In many ways, Gustav was an attractive figure.  He was an enthusiast for Enlightenment ideals, particularly French writers like Voltaire.  He promoted free trade; encouraged religious tolerance, and, to a limited … Continue reading 76. A masked ball

68. Re Lear (Antonio Cagnoni)

Tragedia lirica in 4 acts Composer: Antonio Cagnoni Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni, after Shakespeare Composed c. 1880-1885. First performed: Martina Franca, 19 July 2009, conducted by Massimiliano Caldi Dossier King Lear - where Edgar loves Cordelia, Edmund barely exists, the dramatist has little feeling for Shakespeare, and the composer lacks imagination? "Fie, fie, fie! pah, pah!" CHARACTERS … Continue reading 68. Re Lear (Antonio Cagnoni)

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)