Giuseppe Verdi

KPAC Blog: Metropolitan Opera
9:25 am
Thu March 7, 2013

The Met Presents Verdi's Epic Masterpiece 'Don Carlo'

A scene from Act III of Verdi's "Don Carlo"
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.

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KPAC Blog: Metropolitan Opera
12:31 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Verdi's 'Rigoletto' Set In Las Vegas Showtime

This production of Verdi's "Rigoletto" is staged in 1960's Las Vegas
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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KPAC blog: Metropolitan Opera
10:10 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Giuseppi Verdi’s 'Il Trovatore' - The Vindication Of Opera

Scene from the Met's performance of "Il Trovatore," the Anvil Chorus.
Ken Howard

One of opera's most comical and telling facts was that Giuseppe Verdi was poised at the height of his middle period -- between "Rigoletto" and "La Traviata"  -- to first tackle nothing less than "King Lear," until finally deciding on "Il Trovatore" (The Troubadour).

Could any two themes be less alike?

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KPAC blog: Saturday at the Met
11:03 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The Met Stage Is Full Of Egypt With Verdi's Spectacle, 'Aida'

Liudmyla Monastyrska as Aida.
Metropolitan Opera

There are so many genres of opera. There are the exquisite chamber operas that are close to plays like Strauss’ "Capriccio" of Gluck’s chamber operas. There are the operas of morality or ideology like Beethoven’s "Fidelio" or Mozart’s "Idomeneo." Some works highlight verismos raw emotions and atonal expressionism, decadent excesses like Berg’s "Lulu" or the opera of scandal, like "Salome" and the late romantic opera as epic poetry, "The Ring." The list goes on and on.

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KPAC blog: Saturday Afternoon At The Opera
1:27 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Verdi’s Indestructible Masked Ball: 'Un Ballo in Maschera'

Giuseppe Verdi
Wikipedia

Few, if any, operas can bear comparison with the gestation, preparation and final execution of Giuseppe Verdi’s "Un Ballo in Maschera." It is the work that definitively closes his middle period; preceded by "Traviata," "Rigoletto," and "Il Trovatore" and followed by his supreme masterworks "Don Carlo," "Aida," "Otello" and "Falstaff."

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Saturday Afternoon At The Opera
11:44 am
Thu November 8, 2012

One Of Giuseppe Verdi's Greatest, 'Don Carlo'

Wikipedia

There are essentially two versions of Don Carlo for Giuseppe Verdi. I don't mean that one is in French and the other Italian. Historians and musicologist are manic about the fact that this is untrue; however, there is a work, Don Carlos (francophone's are insistent on this), originally written in French for the Paris Opera that was so vast (5 hrs and change, they say), and it's richness so prodigal, that it obscured the works greatness.

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