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Giuseppe Verdi

Verdi
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Giuseppe Verdi artist page: interviews, features and/or performances archived at NPR Music

Concerts

Riccardo Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

October 10, 2013 Watch a thrilling performance by the Chicago Symphony of Verdi's furious and glorious Requiem.

Placido Domingo sing the title role in Verdi’s 'Simon Boccanegra' at the BBC Proms, July 18th.

August 13, 2010 The famed tenor takes on one of Verdi's most nuanced roles for baritone at this year's BBC Proms.

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Trovatore

June 18, 2010 Find out who threw which baby into the fire in Verdi's Il Trovatore.

Franco Farina stars as the troubled governor in Verdi's Shakespearean-inspired 'Otello.'

May 14, 2010 The great opera composer's career hit a dry patch until he found Shakespeare's Othello.

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Carlos Alvarez and Lyubov Petrova in Verdi's Rigoletto

April 23, 2010 Verdi's opera is a tightly wound swirl of sentiment, appalling violence and unspeakable tragedy.

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Foscari

March 12, 2010 Verdi's rarely heard opera showcases Venice's complex and deadly political history.

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'Simon Boccanegra from Houston Grand Opera'

February 19, 2010 Verdi's somber, historical drama features a poignant relationship between a father and his daughter.

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La Traviata (sq)

February 12, 2010 It's the classic hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold story, played out in grand, operatic style.

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Dimitris Tiliakos and Violeta Urmana star in Verdi's 'Macbeth.'

January 22, 2010 Hear the composer's fascinating version of Shakespeare's classic from the Bastille Opera in Paris.

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December 12, 2008 Verdi completed his masterpiece Otello at age 73, after a 12-year hiatus from composing.

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November 7, 2008 Verdi's opera is a tightly wound swirl of sentiment, appalling violence and unspeakable tragedy.

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July 11, 2008 A Venetian drama that Verdi called "gloomy" features some of his most brilliant and stirring music.

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June 27, 2008 One of Verdi's biggest hits, La Traviata has also played a starring role in Hollywood.

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June 6, 2008 In this grim drama, the bell announcing evening services means lights out for everyone — literally.

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April 25, 2008 'Nabucco,' Verdi's first big hit, is famous for the immensely popular chorus, 'Va, pensiero.'

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April 11, 2008 Verdi's compelling tribute to fate, in a controversial production from the Vienna State Opera.

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March 28, 2008 To foil the censors, Verdi moved 'A Masked Ball' from a king's court in Sweden to colonial Boston.

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January 25, 2008 Tenor Placido Domingo stars in a unique "Trilogy" of acts from three very different operas.

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January 11, 2008 A fearsome conqueror is felled by his love for an enemy in Verdi's historical epic, Attila.

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December 7, 2007 Verdi's Luisa Milleris based on an aptly titled play called Intrigue and Love.

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November 23, 2007 "Aida" evokes the mystery of ancient Egypt, with a healthy dose of passion spurring the action.

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October 26, 2007 Dmitri Hvorostovsky plays the title character in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, from Houston.

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August 31, 2007 Paoletta Marrocu stars in a vivid Washington National Opera production of Verdi's Macbeth.

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May 18, 2007 Il Trovatore is a shocking drama set to some of the Verdi's most brilliant music.

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April 21, 2007 Verdi wrote his swashbuckling, pirate opera, Il Corsaro, in 1848.

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March 16, 2007 World of Opera presents renowned baritone Bryn Terfel as Verdi's Falstaff.

Interviews & Profiles

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

October 7, 2013 One of today's preeminent Verdi singers spins deep tracks by the master opera composer.

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Soprano Maria Slatinaru and bass Paul Plishka perform in a 1986 production of Verdi's La Forza del Destino at the San Francisco Opera.

November 10, 2012 The opera flopped on its first run, and carries the stigma of cursing those who perform it.

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Giuseppe Verdi poured operatic drama into his Requiem, written in 1874 in memory of his friend Alessandro Manzoni.

June 4, 2011 Conductor Marin Alsop muses on the human story and vivid drama Verdi packed into his Requiem Mass.

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Renata Scotto

February 24, 2011 The great soprano chooses favorite recordings for a session of listening and conversation.

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Tenor Enrico Caruso (circa 1910) as Pagliacci

May 17, 2010 An NPR Music producer recalls how a singer from a bygone day triggered his love of opera.

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Composer Daniel Bjarnason

April 18, 2010 Hear NPR Music's Tom Huizenga and host Guy Raz spin new releases by young classical musicians.

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Arlington Cemetary

May 19, 2009 The great opera composer added compassion and plenty of drama to his Requiem Mass.

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Verdi trumps Shakespeare by inserting a hauntingly beautiful "Ave Maria" into his operatic version of Othello.

December 4, 2008 Hear how Verdi's remarkably beautiful "Ave Maria" transforms his opera Otello.

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May 9, 2008 The Portland Opera Chorus searches for power and precision in Verdi's grand opera.

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March 25, 2008 Sara Fishko tackles the immense web of musical history left behind by the great conductor.

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September 6, 2007 The charismatic tenor had a smooth style, a ping to his voice and legions of fans worldwide.

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May 22, 2006 American musicians perform Verdi's Requiem as a tribute to WWII concentration camp prisoners.

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Discover Songs

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky

December 6, 2010 As the year winds down, tell us the story of your best musical moment of 2010.

Dimitris Tiliakos and Violeta Urmana star in Verdi's 'Macbeth.'

January 22, 2010 Hear the composer's fascinating version of Shakespeare's classic from the Bastille Opera in Paris.

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November 23, 2007 Aida, captive in Egypt, longs for her Ethiopian homeland in the aria O patria mia.

News

New York native Richard Tucker in the title role of Offenbach's The Tales Of Hoffmann.

August 28, 2013 New York City honors tenor Richard Tucker, a mainstay at the Met Opera for three decades.

Robert Spano conducts members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, who are currently in a lock out labor dispute.

September 6, 2012 Celebrate the sound of the orchestra while it's silenced by a bitter labor dispute.

Bass Georgio Tozzi.

June 1, 2011 The American singer enjoyed a career that stretched from the Metropolitan Opera to Hollywood.

Cover art for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Grammy-winning CD.

February 14, 2011 When a recording of dense, mystical organ music wins, something good has happened at the Grammys.

Spira Mirabilis

November 10, 2010 Flash concerts have grown popular in the past year as a way to reach a wider audience.

Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano

October 4, 2010 The venerable British classical music magazine has announced winners in 24 categories.

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July 14, 2009 Sir Edward Downes conducted the BBC Philharmonic for decades and excelled in the operas of Verdi.

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September 16, 2007 With her vivid operatic interpretations, the great diva turned the operatic world on its head.

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January 27, 2007 Classical musicians perform Verdi's Requiem to benefit the crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

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December 12, 2006 Tenor Roberto Alagna has become the first singer in memory to walk off the stage at La Scala opera.

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Reviews

It was a big year for extravagant classical box sets.

December 6, 2013 Amid a banner year for classical music box sets, advice on what to splurge on.

Soprano Natalie Dessay, with tenor Charles Castonovo, in Philippe Béziat's documentary Becoming Traviata.

June 4, 2013 For a film built from rehearsals on a bare stage, there's a surprising amount of drama.

Marian Anderson broke the color barrier at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955 when she starred in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera.

August 30, 2011 Hear the famed contralto sing Verdi in a 1955 radio broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera.

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The excellent Dutch soprano Gré Brouwenstijn is remembered with a new reissue of her mid-1950s recordings.

July 5, 2011 Hear a neglected but terrific Dutch soprano sing an aria from La Forza del Destino.

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More Stories

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).

October 8, 2013 The composer's tendency to push buttons won him harsh reviews — and a lasting legacy.

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Giuseppe Verdi's operas have an uncanny ability to probe into our contemporary psyche.

October 10, 2013 On the bicentennial of the composer's birth, his music seems keenly suited to our pride and sorrow.

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Carlos Alvarez and Lyubov Petrova in Verdi's Rigoletto at the Washington National Opera.

October 21, 2011 The tragedies of Verdi's own life spurred some of his most extraordinary work.

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'Ernani'

July 15, 2011 It wasn't just Shakespeare who inspired Verdi to new creative heights.

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Aida at the Maggio Musicale Festival in Florence.

June 3, 2011 When it comes to evoking the exotic aura of ancient Egypt it's tough to top Verdi's wartime romance.

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Saverio Mercadante's rarely performed opera Virginia from Wexford Opera Festival in Ireland.

May 27, 2011 Once a great hit in Italy, this opera of ancient Roman intrigues has unfairly long languished.

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Verdi's 'Nabucco' performed at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.

May 6, 2011 Did one chance encounter lead to Verdi's first great triumph?

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Marina Poplavskaya and Jonas Kaufmann

December 11, 2009 Learn about Verdi's engimatic, yet profoundly beautiful drama in a Covent Garden production.

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Verdi's "Il Trovatore" from Geneva

September 18, 2009 Memorable music overcomes a murky story in one of the composer's most strikingly beautiful operas.

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July 10, 2009 Verdi's soft spot for father-daughter relationships is on display in Simon Boccanegra.

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April 10, 2009 Nadja Michael stars in a controversial Bavarian State Opera production of Verdi's Macbeth.

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March 27, 2009 Verdi's steamy story of passion among the pious stirred the ire of prudish, 19th-century censors.

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December 19, 2008 La Scala caused a worlwide sensation by replacing the lead tenor in the company's season premiere.

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Row of ancient tomes

September 23, 2010 These five books will initiate you into a long and happy career as an operaholic.

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.

December 31, 2013 A beloved conductor made a triumphant return and Walt Disney was reanimated by Philip Glass.

Cartoon by Pablo Helguera.

October 11, 2013 Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.

Don't be caught fishing for facts about Verdi on the bicentennial of his birth.

October 9, 2013 Know your Traviata from your Trovatore? Explore music by the operatic genius on his bicentennial.

Anna Netrebko's Verdi comes out August 20.

August 11, 2013 Hear the celebrated soprano's Verdi tribute, her first studio album in five years.

Verdi's opera Aida, set in the time of the Pharaohs, is known for its extravagance, yet its "Triumphal March" is surprisingly simple.

March 12, 2013 For all the grand excess of Verdi's Aida, its "Triumphal March" is surprisingly simple.

In a production of Verdi's opera Rigoletto at the Sydney Opera House, the title character (baritone Jonathan Summers) reels at the discovery of his dead daughter.

April 11, 2012 Hear why these three composers are still superstars in opera houses worldwide.

Maria Callas, a masterful bel canto singer, performs in the title role of Bellini's Norma in Paris, May 23, 1964.

March 28, 2012 The "beautiful singing" of the early 1800s marks an appealing milestone in the story of opera.

Know your rallentando from your accelerando? Opera singers must follow the composer's musical road signs.

February 1, 2012 Opera singers must obey the musical traffic signals, knowing an accelerando from a rallentando.

Soprano Patricia Ciofi sings an aria from Verdi's Rigoletto.

January 25, 2012 The skinny on what's sung when the singer stands alone.

Don't let a bounty of baritones leave you bewildered.

December 14, 2011 Hear what happens when the natural male speaking voice turns to song in this baritone bonanza.

Tenors may be characterized as head-strong and unpredictable, but they can produce pretty sounds.

November 30, 2011 If you're talking about the kings of the high Cs, make sure you know your facts from fabrications.

Don't mix up your mezzos and contraltos.

November 16, 2011 Learn to love our low-voiced lady opera singers who get to play everything from royalty to rivals.

 From stratospheric coloraturas to jet-powered Wagnerians, learn to love our highest-flying singers.

November 9, 2011 From stratospheric coloraturas to jet-powered Wagnerians, learn to love our highest-flying singers.

Conductor James Levine, early in his career.

June 2, 2011 Celebrate the famed (and beleaguered) conductor's 40 years at the Met with this interactive puzzler.

John Steane wrote about opera in an unstuffy, knowledgeable way.

March 30, 2011 The British writer's breathtaking knowledge and affable prose set him apart from all others.

Verdi And Food

November 17, 2010 The king of opera was humble about his music, but not so when the subject was cooking risotto.

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky

June 24, 2010 Sopranos, symphony orchestras and Schubert: Hear a handful of the year's best classical CDs so far.

NPR Artist Directory

Chopin

Frederic Chopin

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Gillian Welch

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Spoon

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Music, live concerts and interviews with the pop-rock band.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela

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Bon Iver

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Hear concerts and interviews with the atmospheric art-folk singer.

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Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus

Hear performances and profiles of the jazz innovator's work.

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Emerson String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

NPR Music explores the life and voice of the passionate Qawwali singer.

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Exclusive performances from the pop duo from Baltimore.

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Music and news from the Sri Lanka-born hip-hop artist and producer.

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Macbeth

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Reinhold Gliere: Symphony No. 2/Zaporozhy Cossacks

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  • Album: Reinhold Gliere: Symphony No. 2/Zaporozhy Cossacks
  • Artist: Edward Downes
  • Label: Chandos
  • Released: 1992
 

Verdi: Complete Preludes, Overtures and Ballet Music

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  • Album: Verdi: Complete Preludes, Overtures and Ballet Music
  • Artist: Edward Downes
  • Label: Chandos
  • Released: 2005
 

Verdi: Messa da Requiem /Quattro Pezzi Sacri

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  • Album: Verdi: Messa da Requiem /Quattro Pezzi Sacri
  • Artist: Carlo Maria Giulini
  • Label: EMI
  • Released: 2001
 

Otello

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  • Title: Otello
  • Director: Renee Fleming /PlacidoDomingo
 

Brahms: The Four Symphonies

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  • Album: Brahms: The Four Symphonies
  • Artist: Arturo Toscanini
  • Label: RCA
  • Released: 1999
 

Verdi: Te Deum/Messa Da Requiem/Nabucco/Luisa Miller/Hymn Of The Nations

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  • Album: Verdi: Te Deum/Messa Da Requiem/Nabucco/Luisa Miller/Hymn Of The Nations
  • Artist: Arturo Toscanini
  • Label: RCA
  • Released: 1990
 

Italian Orchestral Music

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  • Album: Italian Orchestral Music
  • Artist: Arturo Toscanini
  • Label: RCA
  • Released: 2000