“Va pensiero,” the famous chorus from Verdi’s Nabucco is often cited as an official national anthem for Italy and proved as much throughout the Risorgimento when the country is battling for its independence from the Austrian.
The choral passage, with its nostalgia for a home lost, was truly emotional and established. Verdi as an composer of the revolutionary movement. So it is no surprise that at the same point, some production of Verdi’s Nabucco would be set, not in Babylon, as the libretto originally notes, but during the era where the Hebrews, seeking independence, would be portrayed as Italians and Nabucco and his oppressive babylonians would be Austrian Empire.
Dramma lirico in four acts
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Temistocle Solera
Chorus and Orchestra of the Arena di Verona
Conductor | Daniel Oren
Stage director | Arnaud Bernard
Costume designer | Arnaud Bernard
Nabucco | George Gagnidze
Abigail | Susanna Branchini
Fenian | Nino Surguladze
Israel | Rubens Polizzari
Zaccaria | Stanislav Trofimov
After its initial rejection, Verdi’s unique opera, whose action unfolds in a contemporary setting, La traviata, based on Alexandre Dumas’ The Lady of the Camellias, became one of the most acclaimed works of the composer. This came about because of the universal values that are brought to light following the tragedy of a high-society courtesan -another of those left in the wake of the history of opera- who renounces even life itself to protect the honour of her lover, demonstrating with her self-sacrifice a grandeur lacking in the hypocritical bourgeois society that abused and then rejected her.
A story that brought Verdi legendary status through music with a profound sense of humanity and psychological portrayal of the characters and their feelings. Behind the outward show of luxury and frivolous pleasure, the “populous desert they call Paris” hides the stark cruelty of a social class for whom everything can be bought and sold. With this backdrop of bitter transience, only Violetta stands as a classic heroine, whose sacrifice transcends love and death. These two themes that the opera revolves around are also brought to life by the staging of David McVicar, who, with his usual elegance, sets the drama in a world of romantic references while retaining an up-to-date perspective.
One of the world`s leading stage directors, Nikolaus Lehnhoff has presented an outstanding new production of Giuseppe Verdi's popular opera Rigoletto. With international stars like Juan Diego Flórez and Diana Damrau and directed by the new chief conductor Fabio Luisi, this opera production demonstrates a convincing and highly qualified musical standard. A wonderfully timeless event, which took place in the marvellous atmosphere of Dresden’s Semperoper.
In the midst of the Bicentennial and 20th anniversary celebrations, the Teatro Real revived one of its most monumental and emblematic productions of its recent history: Aida, by Giuseppe Verdi. It premiered in 1998 with the staging, scenography, and costumes by Hugo de Ana. Now we will see a restored and updated version of one of the most popular operas by the composer from Busseto.
Under the baton of Nicola Luisotti, principal guest musical director of the Teatro Real and Prize for the Best Musical Director Opera XXI for Turandot at Teatro Real.
Based on Schiller’s Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love), Verdi’s tragic melodrama Luisa Miller revolves around the loves of the heroine of the title and Rodolfo, son of Count Walter, and the machinations of the Count’s steward, Wurm, who wants Luisa for himself, resulting in the death of all three. Directed by Arnaud Bernard, who took as his inspiration Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1976 film 1900, this La Fenice production is led by the outstanding Bulgarian soprano Darina Takova whose intense characterization of Luisa emphasizes the heroine’s inner torture, and Giuseppe Sabbatini who brings a thrilling theatricality to the rôle of Rodolfo, especially in the most famous aria from the opera, "Quando le sere al placido".
With the collaboration of Naxos.
One of the most popular in all opera repertoire: Il Trovatore. In a new production of the Teatro Real, Maurizio Benini conducts two casts of renowned Verdi stars: Ludovic Tézier, Maria Agresta, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Francesco Meli and Roberto Tagliavini, among many others. The complicated story, based on the play by Antonio García Gutiérrez, is told here in a big production by Francisco Negrín, in which he highlights the dramatic and enormous tension in this Verdi masterpiece.
From the impenetrable – and often delirious plot of Il trovatore, the aspect that without a shadow of a doubt most attracted Giuseppe Verdi was the profound vital contradiction in which Azucenafinds herself immersed, as filled with love for her son as full of hate for her mother. At all cost, the musician looked for a way to reveal the overflowing passions of this woman, and as such he defended it to his librettist, reaching the extreme of suggesting that they abandon the story if he was not convinced (as an alternative, he proposed focusing on a section of the plot which would end in an ‘illumination’ as in La Traviata). It was not necessary. The opera was developed over three years of frenetic musical activity and serious personal problems, but Verdi achieved what he was looking for. With an almost rampant termperament and an overpowering impetus, Il trovatoreoverflows with dramatic tension and musical geniality, resulting in a story of love and revenge which increases in intensity throughout, irrepressible, leading to the final catastrophe. From the very moment of its première, the opera increased in popularity, and now over a century and a half later, it continues to be a resounding height of opera repertory
Three of the greatest operas of Giuseppe Verdi were inspired by the admiration he felt towards the genius of William Shakespeare: Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff, his final opera and second comedy. It is an ideal work, teaching us to take life lightly and laugh at ourselves, and it comes to the Teatro Real in a new production by the talented master in humor, Laurent Pelly. His most recent productions on this stage have been: La Fille du régiment, Hänsel und Greteland The Golden Cockerel. Daniele Rustioni conducts two markedly Spanish casts, together with the house Chorus and Orchestra.
In September 2008 the Neapolitan stage and screen director, Mario Martone, changed the setting of this opera from the late 17th to the 19th century. He believed that Verdi’s story of passion and political rivalry was better suited to the composer’s own era. In this opera, Verdi breaks free from the strict forms of arias and duets, creating larger ensembles with a more fluid and wide-ranging musical discourse. At the same time, he skilfully uses the conventional forms and styles which were the legacy of French comic opera (the character of Oscar) and of grand opera, connecting them to the tradition of Italian opera.
Verdi’s enormous talent for creating well-rounded characters, his keen sense of drama and endless musical inspiration are all on display in this work, in which he skilfully balances drama and comedy, large ensembles and intimate moments, the bustle of the court and the inner dramas of the protagonists. Loyalty, treachery and passion are the three fundamental elements of Un ballo in maschera. Each one has its own theme which we hear in the overture. Passion, however, is the over-riding sentiment of the dramatic final scenes.
Gabrielle D’Annunzio said that Un ballo in maschera was “the most melodramatic of all operas”.
As one of the most popular masterpieces created by opera master Verdi, Aida is always favored by worldwide opera lovers - the vivid three-dimensional characterization and passionate melodies. The creative team is joined by Italian set designer Ezio Frigerio and costume designer Franca Squarciapino, who were creative members of NCPA's production of Nabucco.
Aida was premiered in 1871. The plot focuses on the love story between Ethiopian princess Aida and Egyptian hero Radames. At the choice between love and loyalty for defending the country, the couple is indecisive in a dilemma. The opera is full of strong contrast for emotions: Aida loves with infatuation for motherland and Radames, Radames celebrates victory and decides on 'unjust act', and Egyptian princess Amneris has overbearing desire for Radames. The story features plump texture so that people lament for this beautiful love.
In order to achieve accurate representation of regional features and cultural characteristics of the whole storyline, Verdi repeatedly went to museums to watch Egyptian antiquities and asked Egyptian experts for advice. He blends the ancient musical materials into the opera presentation with lively and profound understanding. The grand stage set makes it suitable for outdoor auditoriums.
In this cinema-inspired and highly poetic staging, Pier Luigi Pizzi brings us Verdi’s great drama to the salons and bedrooms of 1940s Paris. Norah Amsellem, in her magnificent performance as Violetta, is accompanied by José Bros as Alfredo and the great Renato Bruson in the role of Germont, under the masterly baton of Jesús López Cobos.
La traviata is the third and last opera in the 'popular trilogy’ (together with Rigoletto and Il trovatore), which marked the start of Giuseppe Verdi’s artistic maturity, and is with good reason one of his most beloved works. It is based on a famous novel by Alexandre Dumas fils, La Dame aux Camélias, telling the sad story of Marie Duplessis, the celebrated Parisian courtesan who died of that quintessentially Romantic disease, tuberculosis. La Traviata was the first opera to tell the unhappy story of a woman brought down by the hypocrisy of bourgeois morality, with an unprecedented level of realism. Violetta Valéry discovers true love with the young Alfredo Germont, but is forced to give him up at the request of his father, Giorgio Germont.
Verdi drew upon his own relationship with Giuseppina Strepponi, his future wife and loyal supporter, in this work. Its debut, on March 6, 1853 at La Fenice in Venice, was a failure, largely due to presenting scenes from ordinary life rather than stories about aristocrats and rulers. In this production, which opened the 2003-2004 opera season to great acclaim, Pier Luigi Pizzi set the work in Nazi-occupied Paris, where the characters are living from day to day in a permanent state of war, heightening their passion, the only thing they can hold onto.