Giuseppe Verdi, child of the people, king of popular opera, began life as the son of an innkeeper. He was brought up in modest circumstances. He first received lessons from the village priest, who was amazed by the young musician’s talents. Verdi’s musical education was rounded and complete: at the age of sixteen, the composer wrote fugues, masses and symphonies, which he would later destroy. As he met with reticence in Milan, he settled in Busseto where he fell victim to the pettiness of the town. However, his strong willpower enabled him to pursue his musical path without paying heed to what people said.
As early as 1838, Giuseppe Verdi was thinking of the opera and composed his first theatrical works in the style of Donizetti and Bellini. His first great success came in 1842 with the premiere of Nabucco at the Scala. Verdi was admired, celebrated, copied and envied. Without respite, Verdi composed numerous works and won great acclaim for his Romantic opera. Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Traviata and Aida bear witness to Verdi’s art.
With refined orchestral colours, a unique sense of lyricism and lively choral writing, Giuseppe Verdi strengthened dramatic cohesion and attained an apogee with Otello and Falstaff, which transpose Shakespeare’s universe into music. Taking that Italy is the homeland of opera, Verdi was worshipped there like a god. “Viva Verdi!” was chalked on walls and the musician remained fervently patriotic. Far from Richard Wagner, Verdi shines for his humanism and his great moral strength, which is brilliantly reflected in his music.
Giuseppe Verdi (1886), Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna
Charles Roubaud (stage director), Alain Guingal (music director), Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France – Nadine Sierra (Gilda), Leo Nucci (Rigoletto),...
An Open-air classical concert from the Königsplatz
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From the First Moscow International Cello Festival
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2003 St. Petersburg Gala, celebrating the 300th anniversary of the city
Orchestre de l'ORTF, Georges Prêtre - Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris, Georges Sébastian
Riccardo Muti, Liliana Cavani – Salvatore Licitra (Riccardo), Maria Guleghina (Amelia) – Teatro alla Scala
Verbier Festival 2013
Paolo Carignani (conductor), Christof Loy (stage director) – With Barbara Haveman (Hélène), Burkhard Fritz (Henri) and Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester (Guy de M...
Europakonzert 2009, Napoli
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Yutaka Sado, Peter Mussbach – Mireille Delunsch (Violetta), Matthew Polenzani (Alfredo Germont)
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Extracts from Rigoletto, Gianni Schicchi and Tosca – 1965
Verdi's four-acts opera at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli