The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Why is opera composer Giuseppe Verdi so important on his 200th birthday? Ask NPR. | October 12, 2013

By Jacob Stockinger

This past Thursday marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, the great 19th-century Italian opera composer (below, in a photo).

Verdi Giuseppe

During this bicentennial year, you will probably get to hear and read many different evaluations of Verdi and why his contributions to opera, and to classical music and drama in general, remain so important after two centuries.

But I don’t think I have ever come across better or more accessible and convincing explanations than I found – and heard – this week on NPR’s terrific blog “Deceptive Cadence.”

Below are various links plus, at the bottom, a long and popular YouTube of highlights from Verdi’s enormous body of work.

Here is a link to a story about how Verdi managed to incorporate controversial and socially problematic plots – such as his sympathetic treatment of a prostitute in”La Traviata” — into his operas, and how brave it was of him to do so. Acclaimed conductor John Mauceri spoke with “All Things Considered” co-host Robert Siegel.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/10/08/230467124/verdis-gift-wringing-catchy-music-from-touchy-subjects

verdi drawing

Here is another link to a story about how Verdi’s subject matter still touches on human nature today and our contemporary psyche. It uses “Rigoletto” as an example:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/10/10/231015862/verdis-operas-a-vigorous-soundtrack-to-human-nature

And finally, here is a quiz with which you can test your own knowledge about Verdi:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/10/09/230068774/act-like-you-know-giuseppe-verdi

verdi caricature

What do you think is Verdi’s most enduring legacy?

Which is your favorite Verdi opera and why?

The Ear wants to hear.


2 Comments »

  1. […] Classical music: Why is opera composer Giuseppe Verdi so important on his 200th birthday? Ask NPR. (welltempered.wordpress.com) […]

    Pingback by Giuseppe Verdi | doug --- off the record — October 19, 2013 @ 4:00 am

  2. […] October 2013 marks the 200th birthday for the 19th-century italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. To mark this anniversary Jacob Stockinger has compiled a selection of stories about Verdi produced by National Public Radio. You can find those stories at his blog The Well-Tempered Ear. […]

    Pingback by JohnMauceri.com — October 18, 2013 @ 8:00 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,202 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,079,458 hits
%d bloggers like this: