Giuseppe Verdi

John Clare / TPR Arts

This weekend the San Antonio Symphony is joined by soloists and choirs to present Verdi's Requiem. The program will include three choirs and four soloists, in addition to a full orchestra.

"It was natural to feature Verdi during this anniversary," says conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing. "It truly is operatic, and you'll hear that with our amazing soloists, choruses."

April 12 & 13, 2013 at 8 p.m., Majestic Theatre

Metropolitan Opera

There are a handful of operas that define the genre; their time period irrelevant and their themes go to the very heart of the human condition.

We live with these creations daily without our knowing it and they are the very musical air we breath. They exist in the opera house, on the the concert stage (without scenery), in the recital hall (as excerpts, arranged for piano), in the elevator, on the radio, in the lightest cartoons and the darkest dramas - and yes, in the shower.

Wikipedia

Acting on a commission for "La Forza del Destino" from the Bolshoi Theatre in St. Petersburg, Verdi responded on a practical level by preparing for winter; it would premiere in late November.

He sent ahead Italian provisions - sausage, pasta and salami - acquired a very warm coat and commenced work.

Masterpiece of chaos

Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera

Giuseppi Verdi's "Don Carlo" was a Behemoth, a lumbering monster. It featured variant openings, duets and trios and choruses to burn, ballet music that now only exists as a separate concert work, and most importantly, a great psychological/musical narrative frame -- the reason for all the elaboration and development.

What most of us know begins in a tomb in Spain and builds out an old and new subtext of European history, the battle of reactionary politics and the spirit of the Reformation. This background weaves this ideological struggle into a love story of great power.

Metropolitan Opera

Lasting works that are so much a part of our lives and the general culture have often had the most improbable origins; it is one of music's greatest ironies.

The arduous birth of Wagner’s "The Ring" is the stuff of legends, and decades of work, sacrifice and immense debt. Berlioz' "Les Troyens" was a desperate, singular throw of the dice urged on by his correspondence with Liszt's mistress and his lifelong love of Virgil. But what about Verdi’s overwhelmingly popular "Rigoletto"? What happened there?

Ever evolving...

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