Today is October 10th and it is the Anniversary of the Birth of the greatest Italian Composer of history of Opera…. Giuseppe Verdi!
Considered the Giant of the Opera in the XIX Century Europe, (along with Richard Wagner) the works of Verdi are the most performed in all Opera Houses around the world.
After the reign in the Italian Opera Scene with Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi became the most important Opera composer of Italy, in which later, Giacomo Puccini became his successor.
Verdi composed 25 Operas…….. and many of them, Nabucco, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore (these three, last mentioned operas are known as the “Trilogy” Verdi) , La Forza del Destino, Don Carlo (in Which I consider his major masterpiece) Ernani, Luisa Miller, Attila, I Lombardi, Macbeth, Un Ballo in Maschera, Simon Boccanegra, I due Foscari , Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Aida, Otello and Falstaff are always a huge pleasure to listen, for all Opera lovers around the world. The Operas of Verdi are essential, (almost all of his 25 Operas!) and it is always normal to see one, two, or more than 5 of his brilliant Operas, being performed in many Opera Houses at the same time.
All people around the world can recognize many of the marvelous melodies of Verdi’s different operas, from “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici partitura” (The Famous “Brindisi”) from La Traviata, “La Donna È Mobile” (from Rigolleto), Aida’s Triumphal March, the “Anvil Chorus” from Il Trovatore and… the glorious “Va, Pensiero” (From Nabucco and which is for Italy the sencond National Anthem) and never get tired of listen to those glorious, arias, duets, and chorus over and over again.
The beautiful music of Verdi became the “music” for the “words” of many of the most famous works of literature in which many of his Operas are based on and with the musical composition of these magnificent dramas, Verdi became a master of the Dramatic art on stage.
“Rigoletto” is based, of course in Victor Hugo’s “Le Roi s’amuse”, “Ernani”, based, again in Victor Hugo’s play “Hernani”, “Don Carlo” is based on Schiller’s Play, “Luisa Miller”, based again on the Schiller play “Intrigue and Love“, Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff, based on Shakespeares’s works, “I due Foscari” based on Lord Byron’s historical play “The two Foscari” and “La Traviata” based on La dame aux Camélias, the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils.
His other major work, (NON-OPERATIC) is of course, his REQUIEM, which is a masterpiece of sacred music and which is also very constantly performed around the world.
Enjoy the glorious music of Giuseppe Verdi, a giant of the Opera!!! Without his glorious music, live, wouldn’t be the same!
Listen to Part one of Verdi’s Opera Gala, with Ruggero Raimondi, Daniela Dessi, Barbara Fritoli, Jose Carreras, Leo Nucci, Marcelo Alvarez and Jose Cura.
And here is part two of this amazing Verdi Opera Gala with Ruggero Raimondi, Daniela Dessi, Barbara Fritoli, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Leo Nucci and Marcelo Alvarez.
And, also listen to Verdi’s other masterpiece (non-operatic) his majestic “Requiem”… and I highly recommend this historical recording with Herbert von Karajan conducting at Teatro alla Scala and with Leontyne Price, Fiorenza Cossotto, Nicolai Guiaurov and a very young Luciano Pavarotti. This is, in my opinion, the greatest recording og Verdi’s Requiem.
And, just for an example of how the music and many different operatic voices singing at the same time, expressing the drama in that powerful moment, take a look to the famous “Quartet” from Rigoletto:
And also the famous Terzetto also from Rigoletto with Giulietta Simionato, Cesare Siepi and Hilde Güden: (The famous and dramatic scene of Maddalena/Sparafucile/Gilda)