Giuseppe Verdi

Nathan Cone / TPR

This week, Opera San Antonio brings its second major production of the season to the stage of the Tobin Center, Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Opera San Antonio has assembled a cast that conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing says is “to die for,” headed by Dolora Zajick as Azucena (in the role that launched her career back in the 1980s). It’s also worth noting that two Texas voices will be on stage as well, Thomas Soto and Kara Smoot, in small roles.

Marty Sohl / Metropolitan Opera

Soprano Anna Netrebko has been aiming toward this moment for years. On Saturday, October 11, the Met’s popular “Live in HD” cinecast series opens with Netrebko singing Lady Macbeth in Giuseppe Verdi’s adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy. 

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. At 44, the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann may be the most popular tenor of his generation and one of the most versatile. Music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews two of his recordings this year, dedicated to both Verdi and Wagner, celebrating the bicentennials of their birth.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Why Verdi?

Oct 11, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

My first exposure to the music of Guiseppe Verdi came in high school. Fred Junkin, the director of the Victoria High School Band, chose Verdi's "Overture to La Forza del Destino" for one of our contest pieces. The drama of the piece stuck with me, such that as a professional musician and devoted listener to classical music, my heart still responds to Verdi's restless score.

Two hundred years ago today, in a small northern Italian village, a couple named Verdi — tavern owners by trade — welcomed the birth of a baby boy who would later change the face of opera forever. And, whether we recognize it or not, on the bicentennial of his birth, Giuseppe Verdi is still vital.

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