Is this a blogger I see before me

macbethI really struggle with early Verdi.  I want to like it.  I want to like anything by the guy who wrote Don Carlo and Simon Boccanegra.  Also, there’s so much of it about that avoiding it is tedious.  But, and it’s a big but, I really struggle with the combination of deadly serious stage action and upbeat, bouncy music.  There are all these arias that go something like :


We’re going to murder you,
Rum, tum, tum, tumpty tum.
We’re going to chop you up
Rum, tum, tum, tum.

Cognitive dissonance is killing me and that’s my thought for the day brought to you by Giuseppe Verdi, Francesco Plava and a very puzzled William Shakespeare.

5 thoughts on “Is this a blogger I see before me

  1. Verdi probably should have skipped Shakespeare at that point and gone all in with Middleton and Webster. Because that would totally work.

  2. There is much in all of the early Verdi operas I love–they all also contain, well some dreck. I have two problems with companies performing these works: 1. Verdi already has about a dozen great operas in the standard rep and there is a lot of other interesting stuff out there that isn’t being performed; 2. If you can cast say Attila (which I think is almost an impossibility today) why not just do one of the great mature works instead?

    • I dunno, at this point, if there’s a galley opera on the schedule, that’s likelier to get me into the opera house than the millionth iteration of Aida. But I like Verdi’s early works precisely because they illustrate the development of his style, and even the failed experiments are interesting.

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