Don Giovanni (Gerald Finley, left) is pulled down to hell by the ghost of the Commendatore (Alastair Mills) in a Glyndebourne production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Robbie Jack /Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Robbie Jack /Corbis via Getty Images

Sarah Joy Miller as Anna Nicole Smith in Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage, the final production from the New York City Opera, which closed its doors for good this fall. Stephanie Berger hide caption

toggle caption
Stephanie Berger

Giuseppe Verdi's operas have an uncanny ability to probe into our contemporary psyche. Leemage/Universal Images Group/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Leemage/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Verdi's Operas: A Vigorous Soundtrack To Human Nature

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/231015862/231250058" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Don't be caught fishing for facts about Verdi on the bicentennial of his birth. Getty Images/DeAgostini hide caption

toggle caption
Getty Images/DeAgostini

In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people — like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas). Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Verdi's Gift: Wringing Catchy Music From Touchy Subjects

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/230467124/230546961" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Soprano Angela Meade made her professional debut in the role of Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera. Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera hide caption

toggle caption
Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Guest DJ Angela Meade: Hitting The Big Time With Help From Verdi

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/228542276/228510949" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">